MARTINSVILLE, Va. – A Canadian-based company announced that it will invest $21 million in a Martinsville sawmill, creating more than 60 jobs.
The Teal-Jones Group is investing in Pine Products, LLC, a local sawmill in Martinsville that the Teal-Jones Group bought in 2018.
The investment will reportedly create 67 new jobs, more than doubling the company's current total number of employees.
"The real attraction here is the people. The folks who work at that plant and the folks that live in the community are really our number one resource," said Tim Hall, the Henry County administrator.
Pine Products makes lumber from Southern Yellow Pine. The company's goal is to expand the facility and increase production by adding a new kiln in late 2020 or early 2021.
Northam said the company is tapping into the region's potential.
"Agriculture and forestry are our number one industry in the Commonwealth, and we grow a lot of products and to be able to process them here and then export them around the world," Northam said. "That's a big deal, especially in rural Virginia."
Virginia successfully competed with Oklahoma and Washington for the projects, which will include new equipment and updates to the facilities, according to Gov. Ralph Northam's office.
"This major investment by Teal-Jones Group in Virginia's forestry industry is evidence of the world-class workforce, critical infrastructure, and abundant natural resources that make our Commonwealth the best place for business," said Northam. "Wood products companies across all parts of the world continue to deepen their roots in Virginia, and we are thrilled to see this momentum continue with Teal-Jones Group's decision to expand in the Commonwealth. Together, these projects will bring new jobs and economic vitality to our rural communities and help create the markets needed for sustainable forest management."
Hall added that the sawmill is a niche business, but it's committed to growing in Virginia.
"Think of something in your home that's been constructed that doesn't involve wood at some point. So it's really an overlooked industry, probably to a certain extent, but it's hard to imagine our lives being what they are without that product being provided," Hall said. "Nature's blessed us with that product and has blessed us with a company that wants to be here."
The Teal-Jones Group is also making a multimillion dollar investment in another sawmill it owns in Westmoreland County in Virginia.