Philadelphia, Miss. Plans are in the works to modernize a local Weyerhaeuser lumber facility, after the company announced they will be making a significant capital investment to upgrade the plant. The facility located in Philadelphia is expected to go under a series of phases before the renovation is complete and Congressman Gregg Harper, says the announcement as a whole is huge for Mississippi.
"It shows the continued strength of the timber industry, but here's the main thing, you are going to have a 190 families that now are going to have significant jobs that are going to be added over the course of the expansion," said Harper.
The company announced they will make the investment over a three-year period where they will install two new kilns and a planer mill, but according to Plant Manager Stan Webb none of this would have been possible without the dedication of the workforce.
"One of the things Weyerhaeuser does in general with capital is you have to earn the right to get it," said Webb. "These leaders and associates in this mill have performed safely and productively to the point that Weyerhaeuser feels confident in investing in this facility."
Governor Phil Bryant was on hand to address the many in attendance during the announcement and he says its important to keep jobs alive here in Mississippi.
"It's very fortunate for us that this modernization over 50 million dollar investment by Weyerhaeuser and 2.65 million dollar bond by the state of Mississippi will help retain these 190 jobs," said Bryant.
The plant itself is one of the longest-running manufacturing facilities in the company and the company says with the recent recovery of forest products, the company is well positioned to capitalize.
"In the last year we've seen somewhat of an uptick in the housing market and with that we are able to sell a little more product, which makes a little more positive future and gives us the ability to reinvest profits back into capital projects," Public Affairs Manager Monte Simpson said.
Weyerhaeuser is a huge corporation with locations in 11 different countries, including 10 sites in Mississippi alone. It employees almost 14,000 people and does more than 8.5 billion dollars a year in sales.