Governor's Office: High-Tech Sawmill to Bring 350 Jobs to Suwannee
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A high-tech sawmill is bringing 350 jobs to rural Suwannee County, the governor’s office announced Friday.
Klausner Lumber One, a division of Myrtle Beach-based Klausner Holding USA Inc., had reportedly been considering sites in Halifax County, N.C., and Orangeburg County, S.C.
With the company also promising to inject $130 million in capital over three years into the facility near the intersection of Interstate 10 and U.S. 90 West, construction is expected to require about another 700 workers.
“In addition to creating hundreds of employment opportunities for Florida’s families and further growing the state’s economy, the construction of this facility represents true partnerships between many different local and statewide organizations,” Gov. Rick Scott stated in a release.
Fiscal details of the state and local efforts were not immediately available. Partners in the project included the Suwannee County Commission; Enterprise Florida; Suwannee County Economic Alliance; Florida Institute of Government at Florida State University; North Florida Economic Development Partnership; and the state departments of Economic Opportunity (DEO), Environmental Protection (DEP), and Transportation (FDOT).
With talks between the county and Klausner under way for nearly two years, state Rep. Elizabeth Porter, R-Lake City, congratulated local folks for their efforts to attract the lumber company.
“It is a testament to their hard work and dedication to improving the opportunities for their residents and their communities,” Porter stated in a release.
“I also wish to thank Governor Scott, the Department of Economic Opportunity, Enterprise Florida and the Institute of Government at FSU, as well as all the other state agencies and organizations involved for their assistance in making this endeavor become a reality. This new enterprise will mean jobs and benefits for the people of the area in a time when jobs are what is needed most. I am optimistic that this will only be the first of many exciting announcements about new jobs and industry coming to our area to locate in one of our catalyst sites in Suwannee and Columbia counties, and I look forward to continuing to do my part to assist in that process."
Jimmy Norris, president and owner of Live Oak-based Southern Heritage Builders Inc., viewed the announcement as a boon to the construction industry in and around Suwannee County.
“Before we had any association with the company or knew they were considering moving here, we asked a supplier to bring in Klausner lumber because the quality is better than other products we’ve used,” Norris said.
“I was 100 percent sold on their product before seeing their operation, which is incredible. I’ve been around sawmills all my life and I’ve never seen an operation that is so state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly and pristine.”
Klausner is also expected to work primarily with Southern yellow pine.
“Klausner’s choice of materials will greatly benefit the local pine tree market,” said Dennis Music, owner and president of Live Oak-based Music Construction.
“This will help create the need for people to replant the area, which has been on the decline in recent years. I know a lot of timber cutters and they’re all really excited to see this happen.”
Reach Jim Turner at email@example.com or at (772) 215-9889.