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October is Give Methow!

Give Methow

You can make a real difference in the health of our community by contributing to TwispWorks during Give Methow – a month-long giving campaign sponsored by the Community Foundation of North Central Washington.

As TwispWorks commemorates our 10-year anniversary, our sense of celebration is balanced with the reality that our community still lacks access to economic opportunities found in other areas of the state. In fact, according to a University of Washington sustainability study published this year, 49% of families in the Methow Valley live at-or-below the poverty level.

Our community deserves a local economy that is healthy, diverse and opens doors for people to succeed.

TwispWorks programs and services address some of these challenges. Some examples of what we are doing include:
• closing the digital divide and bringing reliable broadband to under-served areas in our community;
• facilitating more than $2.5 million in loans to local businesses who would be challenged to qualify for traditional lending programs;
• working collaboratively with partners to address the root causes of poverty like access to housing and affordable childcare.

When you contribute to TwispWorks, you are creating opportunities for businesses and families succeed. We need your help now!

For every dollar contributed to TwispWorks during Give Methow, we will qualify for a pool of stretch dollars, so the more you give, the more we receive and the more the community benefits.

Please support the health of the Methow Valley and contribute today to TwispWorks!

Five Questions with OSB Brewmaster Kyle Koger

OSB Brewmaster KyleThis month we had a chance to grab a few minutes, and a quick pint, with OSB Brewmaster Kyle Koger.

TW: Thanks for taking a few minutes out of your day Kyle, we know you’ve been super busy getting the south campus production facility up and running! We’re curious – what’s the number one question you get asked?
Kyle: Definitely folks want to know whether or not we’re producing beer at the facility yet and yes, we are! We’re currently on our seventh batch of beer. So far we’ve brewed a limited batch of South Campus IPA, our Easy Runaway IPA and Stowaway Pale Ale as well as batches of our K’POWW a fresh-hop brew made in collaboration with Skookum Brewery out of Arlington.

TW: Just how much beer can you brew at the new facility?
Kyle: Well currently we have capacity to brew 2,000 barrels a year, but we also have the option to build out to a capacity of 3-5,000 in the future.

TW: Are you just brewing for kegs? Or are you also bottling your beers at the new facility?
Kyle: For now we’re still bottling beers at the Winthrop location, but we hope to move over the equipment to the south campus in the next few weeks.

TW: What about the iconic Winthrop restaurant and brewery? They’re not going anywhere, are they?
Kyle: Heck no! We love our Winthrop location and will continue to brew out of the original brewery there for the restaurant as well as creating special small batch brews.

TW: okay here’s the most important question – what’s on your playlist?
Kyle: Clinton Fearon all the way!

TW: Nice! Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Kyle
Check out all the delicious drafts now being brewed at the OSB production facility on the TwispWorks campus – stop by the OSB Taproom in Twisp, open Monday through Saturday or visit the OG in Winthrop at 155 Riverside Ave – open every day!

Broadband Planning RFP Available

The Twisp Public Development Authority (PDA) is seeking qualified candidates to complete a technical infrastructure assessment of the Methow Valley’s broadband capabilities and future needs. The project seeks to identify a consultant to facilitate planning, identify industry best practices, perform local market analysis, inventory and map local infrastructure and demand, model broadband infrastructure expansion projects, perform business case evaluation on each model, identify and recommend implementation funding options, identify public or private partnerships and recommend an action plan. The complete RFP and evaluation criteria can be requested from Proposals are due Monday, September 30, 2019 by 5pm PT.

Julie Tate-Libby Joins TwispWorks as Director of Programs

Julie TateTwispWorks has hired Julie Tate-Libby as the Director of Programs effective September 3, 2019. In this role, Julie will work with local government, businesses, nonprofit organizations, concerned citizens and economic development authorities to identify opportunities for TwispWorks to provide programming to support and improve the health of the local economy and the businesses who operate in the Methow Valley.

A long-time Methow Valley resident, Julie teaches anthropology and sociology at Wenatchee Valley College and has conducted research on rural communities whose economies rely on tourism including the Methow Valley and the Big Island of Hawaii. After receiving her PhD in tourism from the University of Otago in 2010, she returned to the Methow Valley to raise her family and teach. She has published several articles on tourism and rural migration and several creative pieces on fires and travels in the Himalayas. Julie has served on the board of Okanogan Family Health Centers, the Merc Playhouse and the North Central Washington Community Foundation. In addition to writing, teaching and research, Julie is an active community member and mother, and enjoys trail running and gardening in her free time.

When The Community Speaks, TwispWorks Listens

CharetteThis summer is the tenth anniversary of TwispWorks and there is much to celebrate! We’ve met the challenge of making the TwispWorks facility operationally sustainable and have received the deed to the campus. We’ve created vital programs like the Methow Investment Network and Methow Made to support local businesses, artists and producers. And, we’ve continued to advocate for issues important to our community and our local economy.

As we make plans for the next ten years, TwispWorks invited everyone to a series of community listening sessions to evaluate how we’re doing in the community and how we can best serve the Methow Valley in the future. After hearing from over one hundred and fifty people at the sessions, in focus groups and in an online survey, four themes emerged.

The first theme had to do with supporting economic diversity in the Methow Valley. This included a call for continued focus on small business consultation, incubation, and financial support. Community members expressed the need for developing markets outside the Methow Valley and creating business opportunities outside the tourist sector – a clear confirmation that our vision of a diverse and resilient economy resonates with the community. A second theme had to do with developing a vocation/technical training program and opportunities for skilled trades. Members also expressed the need for labor, both within the trades and in essential service jobs. A third issue we heard was the need for continued advocacy – like support of the Broadband initiative and ways to increase the ability to work remotely from the Methow. Lastly, community members expressed a growing concern with income inequality within the Valley and how to support a healthy economy that ensure a better quality of life for everyone.

We look forward to hearing from you more and working with workers, entrepreneurs and businesses to support a healthy economy in the Methow Valley!