RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Woodgrain Inc., a manufacturer of wood moulding and trim, 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. These projects will create 100 new jobs, save 80 existing jobs, and increase purchases of Virginia-grown forest products.
“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 Northam via a recent news release. “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.”
These two projects will lead to the creation of 100 new jobs in the region and will save 80 jobs at Independence Lumber, which is Grayson County’s largest private employer. 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.
Woodgrain, a family-owned business based in Idaho, is one of the largest millwork companies in the world. They produce and distribute 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 via a recent news release. “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.”