Jackson County has awarded a $12,000 grant to Linde Electronics and Specialty Gases of White City, the second such grant handed out as part of the county's Economic Action Initiative program.

Jackson County has awarded a $12,000 grant to Linde Electronics and Specialty Gases of White City, the second such grant handed out as part of the county's Economic Action Initiative program.

A news release from the county said the grant will help create six new jobs with wages ranging from $20 to $40 an hour.

Commissioner C.W. Smith said Friday that Linde is the kind of company the community should rally around to ensure it continues to operate locally.

"Every one of the jobs at Linde is a well-paying job," Smith said.

The Linde Group is an international company that produces industrial gases. Linde gases are used in a variety of industries, including steel production, refining, chemical processing, welding, food processing, glass production and electronics.

Smith said Linde representatives were appreciative of the support.

"I don't think they've ever had a local government jump in and say, 'Hey, we want to help, too,' " Smith said.

"We know it's not a lot of money, but it speaks well of the community's support for business."

Art Pernsteiner, plant manager for the Linde operation in White City, said the company was "humbled" by the grant approval. He said the local plant employs 36 people and has been adding staff for the past year.

"This sends the message to Linde's executive leadership that Jackson County is partnering with industry," Pernsteiner said in a news release. "When decisions are made at the corporate board level, regarding investment and business growth, corporate leaders will know that Jackson County is working with them to make the investment a success."

To qualify for the grant, Linde had to meet criteria developed by the Board of Commissioners and be vetted by Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc., or SOREDI, which is helping to administer the grant program.

In December, the county awarded its first program grant of $26,000 to Core Business Services, a six-year-old company providing information technology management services.

The commissioners announced last year they would set up a $150,000 fund to provide grants to companies that would use the money to help create new jobs.