Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has announced in Grayson County that Independence Lumber is rebuilding and expanding production at its sawmill operation that was destroyed by fire in November of 2012. The company will invest more than $5 million, retain 57 current jobs, create 25 new jobs at the site, and purchase 90 percent of its timber needs from Virginia forests. The Commonwealth of Virginia is partnering with Grayson County and Independence Lumber on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID).
Independence Lumber’s new sawmill will produce a variety of dimensional lumber sourced from the region, including Red and White Oak, Poplar, Birch, Hickory, and Eastern White Pine. Independence’s products will be sold domestically and exported into the global marketplace through the Port of Virginia.
Working in partnership with Virginia and Grayson County, Independence Lumber will invest in rebuilding the destroyed sawmill and acquiring new equipment for the renovated facility. These improvements will strengthen the company’s competitive position in the reviving economy and housing sector.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) worked with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), Grayson County, and the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission to help secure the project for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $100,000 grant from the Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID) to assist Grayson County with the project.
Independence Lumber is committing to purchase at least 20 million board feet of timber per year from Virginia producers, which will represent 90 percent of its annual purchases. Through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, Independence Lumber will receive additional funding and services to support its training and retraining activities. The company will also receive assistance from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund.