In Virginia, Woodgrain Inc. will invest nearly $9 million to expand its operations in Smyth County and invest more than $8 million to purchase and expand the former Independence Lumber sawmill in Grayson County. The wood moulding and trim manufacturer’s projects will create 100 new jobs, save 80 existing jobs, and increase purchases of Virginia-grown forest products.
“We are excited about expanding our operations and furthering our commitment to Southwest Virginia,” said Woodgrain Eastern Region Millwork Manager Robb Hitch. “We believe this will have a significant, positive impact on the local economy and allow us to further leverage our vertical integration by supplying lumber to our millwork location in Smyth County and throughout the Southwest. It’s a win-win situation that will allow us to continue to provide best-in-class service and product.”
When the sawmill upgrades in Grayson County are complete, it will become the primary supplier for the company’s Smyth County operation. This will allow Woodgrain to source 90 percent of its new forest products needs from the Commonwealth, leading to the purchase of an additional nine million board feet of Virginia-grown forest products over the next three years.
“Forestry is the Commonwealth’s third-largest private industry, supporting more than 107,000 jobs in our rural communities and providing an economic impact of $21 billion annually,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “Woodgrain continues to bring welcomed employment opportunities and capital investment to Southwest Virginia, supporting my administration’s goal to bring economic vitality to all corners of the Commonwealth. I’m thankful to Woodgrain for their commitment to Virginia forest products and look forward to continued partnership in the future.”
Idaho-based Woodgrain is one of the largest millwork companies in the world, producing and distributing high-quality lumber, mouldings, doors, and windows at 27 facilities employing more than 3,500 individuals nationwide. In addition to millwork manufacturing, Woodgrain owns and manages forestlands and several sawmills in the Pacific Northwest. The dimensional sawmill in Grayson County will be the company’s first sawmill on the East Coast. Woodgrain plans to retain the sawmill’s existing employees and create 20 new jobs at the facility. In Smyth County, Woodgrain will improve its existing manufacturing facility and expand into another building, creating 80 new jobs and increasing that facility’s purchases of Virginia-grown forest products by nearly 20 percent.
“New and expanding markets for Virginia forest products are vital to the sustainable management of the Commonwealth’s 16 million acres of forestland,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “These major expansions by Woodgrain will not only retain and create new high-paying jobs in Southwest Virginia, but also expand important market opportunities for our landowners, leading to a healthier forest resource.”
“For nearly thirty years, Woodgrain has been a valued contributor to the Commonwealth’s forest products industry,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The company’s additional investment in Southwest Virginia reflects the strength of Virginia’s workforce and favorable business environment, two of the many reasons why the Commonwealth was just named America’s Top State for Business by CNBC. We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with Woodgrain.”
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and Virginia’s Industrial Advancement Alliance worked with Grayson and Smyth counties to secure the project for the Commonwealth. Governor Northam approved $350,000 in awards from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development program to secure these projects for the Commonwealth. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
“This is an exciting day for Southwest Virginia,” said Tobacco Commission member Sandy Ratliff. “Woodgrain is an industry leader, and I am pleased that the Tobacco Commission was able to support their expansion in Smyth County that will bring new jobs and millions of dollars of investment to our region. I wish Woodgrain the best as they get their project underway, and I know they will continue to find success here in Southwest Virginia for many years to come.”
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