Monday, September 26, 2011

Local news: fuel, Depot impacts, and training funds

There are an assortment of interesting local news tidbits to share today.

In Bend, the locally-based InEnTec is bringing landfills a step closer to converting garbage into fuel. An article in The Bulletin details InEnTec's contract with Fulcrum BioEnergy to supply plasma-enhanced melters for the first gasification power plant, to be built outside Reno, Nevada. "InEnTec's technology for converting waste to synthetic gas will be combined with Fulcrum's technology for converting synthetic gas into ethanol." This project demonstrates the potential to convert garbage into renewable fuels.

In Eastern Oregon, the Umatilla Chemical Depot destroys chemical weapons, such as mustard gas, to fulfill the nation's treaty obligations. The Statesman Journal reports that the end of chemical weapons incineration at the Umatilla Depot this winter will result in the loss of an estimated 650 jobs. Kim Puzey, the manager of the Port of Umatilla, cites upcoming job opportunities in the wake of the Umatilla Depot closure, such as a contract with Rotschy Inc. to build a new road to the port's river shipping terminal.

All across the state, a pair of on-the-job training grants are being implemented in an effort to permanently re-employ currently unemployed workers. According to the Albany Democrat-Herald, grants from the "Back to Work Oregon" program will provide eligible businesses with up to $5,000 in reimbursements for training costs of new workers they hire. To qualify, employers need to hire workers for full-time, permanent positions that pay at least $10 per hour, and provide at least a partial contribution to the worker's medical benefits.

The program will be implemented through the state's workforce investment boards. Get more details in the full article.

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