Former International Paper (IP) Franklin Mill employees have come up with a clever solution to make use of the dormant sawmill at IP’s Franklin, Va., site—establish a new company and purchase the mill.
The newly-formed company will operate under the name Franklin Lumber, and the $14.8 million investment is expected to create 72 new jobs.
The Franklin Mill facility, located in Isle of Wight County, has seen its fair share of activity over the last year. After initially closing the paper mill in 2009, International Paper returned in the summer of 2012 and repurposed part of the facility to manufacture fluff pulp.
Also in 2012, Tak Investments announced plans to invest $60 million and create 85 new jobs to establish ST Tissue, a recycled tissue plant, by repurposing a vacant portion of the Franklin Mill site.
Franklin Lumber expects to produce 60 million board feet of southern yellow pine lumber each year for retail, treating and truss manufacturers. This project will benefit Virginia’s logging supply chain as 40 percent of the company’s materials will be sourced from the Commonwealth.
Virginia was selected for this project due to the founders’ knowledge of the Franklin Mill site and familiarity with the assets of the region, which include a strong wood basket supply chain, a skilled manufacturing workforce and a premier logistics infrastructure.
This investment also represents the first Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) grant to a forestry project.
Franklin Lumber joins more than 6,000 manufacturing companies located in the Commonwealth and illustrates that Virginia is not only a great place for manufacturers, but a great place to start a business. Virginia recently earned an A for its small business friendliness—to learn more, click here.