Edwards Wood Products will open a new sawmill, creating 46 new jobs over three years, N.C. Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland announced. The manufacturer of wood pallets, high grade lumber, wood chips, and by-products will invest $30 million in the next three years to open a sawmill in Scotland County that will increase capacity and expand markets. The company plans for a phase two that will include an additional $20 million investment.
"Edwards Wood Products has grown significantly over the past several years, and this expansion is key to their continued success," said Secretary Copeland. "Scotland County is well-suited for this project, and the partnership we had between the county, community college, the Department of Transportation and N.C. Railroad was key to making this happen."
Edwards Wood Products was founded in 1969 in Marshville, N.C. by Carroll Edwards. Today, the group of six companies is owned and led by his son, Jeff Edwards. Edwards Wood Products is one of the largest producers of wood pallets, high grade lumber, wood chips, crane and bridge mats and by-products in the Southeast U.S. Current locations include Marshville, Peachland, Laurinburg and Liberty, N.C. and Manning, S.C.
The North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. (EDPNC) were instrumental in supporting the company's expansion decision.
"We are excited to expand our operations in Scotland County," said Jeff Edwards, President at Edwards Wood Products. "We have partnered with Scotland County and the City of Laurinburg since our initial investment there in 1990 and look forward to expanding that relationship with this new facility. Thank you to Governor Cooper, Senators Tommy Tucker and Tom McInnis, as well as all the state and local officials for supporting this project and helping to bring it to reality."
Salaries for the new jobs will vary by position but will average $42,391. The average wage in Scotland County is $34,037.
A performance-based grant of $150,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help facilitate the construction of the facility in Scotland County. The One N.C. Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All One NC grants require a matching grant from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.In addition to North Carolina Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other key partners in the project include the N.C. General Assembly, the N.C. Community College System, the N.C. Department of Transportation, the N.C. Railroad Company, Scotland County and the Scotland County Economic Development Corporation.