Southern Oregon Wine Industry set to get grant

      ROSEBURG, Ore. - For their Grow Our Own: Job Readiness for the Southern Oregon Wine Industry project, Umpqua Community College is set to receive $180,000 from the Walmart Foundation and American Association of Community Colleges.

      "People outside of our region really understand what's going on here and also understand our need for further economic development," said Lee Paterson, who chairs the SOWI advisory committee.

      Through this grant, the college hopes to provide mid-level training to unemployed workers in the area.

      "It was a nationwide competition," said Chris Lake, director of the Southern Oregon Wine Institute. "We're one of 17, but we're also one of four that were selected to be mentor colleges in this."

      With that designation, SOWI will be an example for other schools in using the best practices for growth.

      "The Southern Oregon Wine Institute is acting as a catalyst to really energize the wine industry in Southern Oregon," Paterson said. "We're very excited about that."