A $190 million upgrade to a Southwest Arkansas sawmill is now complete. Federal and state leaders visited Dierks, Arkansas for the grand opening. Officials say the new Weyerhaeuser facility not only provides job security, but it’s also a boost to the region’s economy.

Governor Asa Hutchinson, U.S. Senator John Boozman, Congressman Bruce Westerman and other state and local leaders were on hand for the grand opening of the brand new Weyerhaeuser Lumber Mill.

In 2015, the company announced plans to construct the upgraded facility to replace the former mill, which was originally built 100 years ago. Weyerhaeuser purchased the mill from the Dierks Forest Company in 1969. City officials say the industry expansion secures the future of their community and schools. Currently, 230 employees work at the mill.

Governor Hutchinson says the facility is a success story for the economy, Arkansas families and the lumber products industry. “It means a lot to the thousands that are ancillary to this investment, such as, the loggers, and those that are supporting the forest products industry,” explained Hutchinson. “It’s a great facility. I expect it will soon be the leading production facility in the world,” said Rep. Bruce Westerman, U.S. Congress (AR-R).

Company officials say for 100 years wood products have been produced in Dierks, and with this recent investment they’re ensuring that rich history will continue. The new mill has the capacity to produce about 380 million board feet of lumber per year.

From KTBS 3 News: https://www.ktbs.com/news/texarkana/weyerhaeuser-opens-new-sawmill-in-dierks-arkansas/article_d377137a-d256-11e8-be9a-6f882a2a173c.html