The Yukon-Kuskokwim Economic Development Council received funds from the State of Alaska for an economic development project in the amount of $35,000. The YKEDC Board of Directors met on December 10, 2014 to discuss three project proposals. During this meeting the board voted to fund the development of two business plans utilizing the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development (UACED). UACEDS will develop the Truss Manufacturing and Saw Mill Business and Implementation Plans for YKEDC.

The goal of this project is to promote economic development through manufacturing and local timber production. This project will promote local labor and local timber. The objective behind the truss manufacturing plant is to promote affordable and energy efficient homes throughout the AVCP region where 40% of our housing units are considered overcrowded and an approximate 3,000 homes are in need of replacement (CCHRC).

The business and implementation plans are to be complete by June 30, 2015. If the projects are feasible, we will work with the local timber industries on the mid to upper Kuskokwim in bolstering their operations. At this point, the truss manufacturing plant will most likely be located in Bethel at AVCP’s old fish processing plant.

Potential partners in the design and construction of the truss manufacturing plant include the Economic Development Administration and the State of Alaska. Current planning partners include the Association of Village Council Presidents, YKEDC, State of Alaska, and the Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC).