Wood products manufacturer will create 73 jobs in Russell County
Rambler Wood Products to renovate former Bush Furniture Industries plant
Rambler Wood Products is investing $7.6 million to establish a wood products manufacturing facility in Saint Paul, creating 73 jobs in the Russell County area, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday.
“As Virginia’s third-largest private sector industry, forestry supports thousands of quality jobs in our rural communities and contributes $21 million in economic impact each year,” Northam said in a statement. “We continue to prioritize bringing high-paying jobs and capital investment to all corners of our commonwealth while supporting working landscapes, and I am thankful to Rambler Wood Products for helping to create economic opportunity in Russell County.”
The manufacturing facility will be located in the 300,000-square-foot former Bush Furniture Industries building. The company has committed to sourcing at least 55% of its timber from Virginia by purchasing $22.3 million of hardwoods grown in the commonwealth during the next three years.
“Employees will be the driving force behind our success and we will offer high-quality, good-paying jobs to local residents,” Rambler Wood Products founder Mark Wadams said in a statement. “In addition to contributing to the economic rejuvenation of the region, we are committed to being thoughtful stewards of the region’s natural resources by implementing sustainable practices and a ‘waste nothing’ philosophy throughout our operations.”
Rambler will convert white oak into barrel staves for the West Virginia Great Barrel Co. and will use red oak and other lower value hardwoods to produce lumber for flooring manufacturers, pallet production and for mining usage. Wood residuals will be sold to paper companies or further manufactured to biomass products.
“Companies like Rambler Wood Products provide important markets that help landowners across the commonwealth sustain over 16 million acres of forestland,” Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring said in a statement. “These markets will help ensure that Virginia’s hardwood forests, which cover 78% of the commonwealth and account for nearly half of the timber income produced in the state, are well managed with an eye to the future.”
The commonwealth is working with Russell County, the Russell County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) and the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) on the project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund. Northam also approved a $300,000 AFID Fund grant to secure the project for Virginia. The Virginia Jobs Investment Program will provide employee training services.