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‘Shovel-ready’: McMinnville invites manufacturing jobs to wine country

By Travis TeichEmily BurrisMichaela Bourgeois,


PORTLAND, Ore. ( KOIN ) – McMinnville has made a name for itself as a wine country travel destination, but in addition to its wine culture, the city is looking to bring manufacturing jobs to the community, according to Mayor Remy Drabkin.

McMinnville was recently highlighted by TIME Magazine, which named the Willamette Valley in its list of The World’s Greatest Places Of 2023 . The magazine referred to the region as “The Next Napa,” with wineries such as Landlines Winery tasting room in McMinnville.

Drabkin also received a shout-out on the list as the mayor was behind the world’s inaugural queer wine festival before becoming McMinnville’s first female mayor in 2022.

In 2023, the mayor says, the city is looking to the state and federal government to fund several infrastructure projects from improving sidewalks and accessibility along downtown’s Third Street to developing industrial land.

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“We’re taking a pretty unique approach in the city this year. McMinnville has found itself in a, I guess you could say, donut hole in terms of how we are able to bring in support from the state and federal government,” Drabkin said. “We’re too small or too large to get any number of say, USDA rural grants when our population crossed 25,000, we no longer had access to those grants.”

In addition to downtown infrastructure, McMinnville also seeks infrastructure funding to support the city’s innovation campus .

With 140-acres of “shovel-ready” zoned industrial land in the urban growth boundary, Drabkin said, “we would really love to invite in some wonderful regional economic drivers, high-paying manufacturing jobs, research and development jobs.”

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Drabkin explained the funding would boost infrastructure in the area to make it more “business friendly.”

“We see that as a large regional economic driver. It won’t just benefit McMinnville; it will benefit all of our surrounding communities.”

The invitation for manufacturing jobs comes as Oregon lawmakers consider a bill that would allow the governor to designate lands as part of the urban growth boundary for chip manufacturing as part of the state’s efforts to lure chipmakers to the state .

The Oregon Semiconductor Competitiveness Task Force has also warned that the state needs more industrial land near infrastructure to help retain semiconductor businesses.

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