GLENWOOD – The long awaited and much anticipated announcement has finally arrived.
It can potentially affect several hundred families in the Glenwood and surrounding communities with employment, better paying jobs and a much needed shot to the economy of West Central and South West Arkansas.
The reopening of the mill, and the gradual employment of 136 workers will affect not just those families. Loggers, maintenance personnel, office people, mechanics to maintain the trucks, skidders and other forest equipment, service stations pumping diesel fuel, and many other professions will benefit from the reopening.
In the last seven years, area residents have heard numerous rumors of the old Georgia Pacific saw mill reopening. The best shot at reopening the mill has come from Caddo River Forest Products
Caddo River Forest Products announced on June 22 they are planning to reopen the Glenwood, Arkansas sawmill. The company will invest up to $50 million in the facility, creating 136 new jobs with 200 to 300 new indirect jobs also expected in the area as a result of this project.
“Caddo River Forest Products is thankful for all of the support received from CAT Financial, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, the City of Glenwood, Pike County, the State of Arkansas and the U.S. Economic Development Administration program,” said David Henderson, a member of the Caddo River partnership. “We are pleased to bring back important jobs to the area.”
Caddo River Forest Products plans on manufacturing dimensional and specialty lumber. The re-start of the mill will also provide indirect employment opportunities for loggers, landowners and transportation specialists.
The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) will provide a grant of $817,726 to the city of Glenwood to make water and roadway infrastructure improvements needed to serve the Caddo River Forest Products facility.
“EDA is pleased to partner with Glenwood in providing much needed infrastructure improvements to bring this sawmill facility back online,” said Jorge D. Ayala, EDA’s regional director. “This investment will drastically improve and expand the economic opportunity of Glenwood and will strengthen a community that has suffered disproportionate economic distress and job losses.”
The mill was originally built by Georgia Pacific in the early-1970s and it was significantly upgraded to become one of the most technologically advanced mills in North America. At its peak, it employed approximately 200 workers, making it one of the largest independent southern pine manufacturers in the United States.
“The timber industry is vital to Arkansas’ economic well-being,” said Mike Preston, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. “The jobs created by Caddo River Forest Products will have a lasting impact on many families in Glenwood and the surrounding area.”
“This Federal and State Assistance will bring at least 136 new jobs to the City of Glenwood and likely spur more activity in the surrounding areas,” said Glenwood Mayor Ron Martin. “This will bring more money to the city, county, and state. The best thing for the citizens of Glenwood and surrounding area is the opportunities for jobs, the dignity and joy of working to support their families.”