Weyerhaeuser Co. officials said Wednesday they are hiring new employees across all sectors of the company’s Longview operations to meet rising domestic and export demand and to replace an aging workforce.
At a community leaders’ forum at the Cowlitz Expo Center, company and timber industry leaders said nationwide housing starts are improving, Asian demand for logs remains strong and the recession appears to be in their rearview mirror.
By the end of this year, Weyerhaeuser says it will have hired about 150 new workers in Longview during 2013. Next year, officials said, the company expects to hire at least 30 new pulp mill workers and another half dozen on the docks. The company was unable Wednesday to specify the net gain in Longview employment.
Nationwide housing starts are expected to hit 900,000 this year, nearly triple the 2008 low point during the recession, said Cindy Mitchell of the Washington Forest Protection Association, a timber industry trade group, said during the meeting.
About 3.2 billion board feet of timber is expected to be harvested from Washington forests this year, a 30 percent jump from five years ago. Mitchell said the increase is due to increased demand, which made Weyerhaeuser officials cheer.