For Immediate Release:
March 9, 2016
Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, (804) 225-4260, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov
| Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Elaine Lidholm, 804.786.7686, Elaine.Lidholm@vdacs.virginia.gov
Governor McAuliffe Announces New Sawmill in Halifax County
~Slick Rock Lumber to Create Thirteen Jobs, Purchase $5 Million in Virginia Forest Products~
Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Slick Rock Lumber will open a new sawmill operation in Halifax County. The company will create thirteen new jobs in the county and source seventy-five percent of its timber needs from Virginia land owners. This is the first economic development announcement in Halifax County during the McAuliffe administration and the first AFID facility grant announcement for the county.
Speaking at the announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “Virginia’s forestry industry supports thousands of good jobs in our rural communities and provides important market opportunities for the Commonwealth’s private forestland owners. Partnering with a company like Slick Rock Lumber is a great way my administration can support Virginia’s forest products sector, one of Virginia’s top private industries. Slick Rock’s new facility will bring welcomed employment opportunities and economic vitality to the region, further helping with my administration’s efforts to build a new Virginia economy.”
Slick Rock Lumber will invest $535,000 in site improvements and equipment needed to open the new hard- and softwood sawmill. The company’s primary products will be railroad ties and large planks to be made into mats for use by utility, construction, and logging companies. Slick Rock is also committing to purchase more than $5 million of Virginia timber over the next three years, or 75 percent of the forestry inputs needed for the new production venture.
“Slick Rock Lumber’s investment represents an exciting new opportunity for Halifax County and our local forestland owners,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore. “Southside Virginia is regarded as one of the Commonwealth’s most abundant and sustainable wood baskets, so Slick Rock is well-positioned for success. The forestry industry, which was hit especially hard by the economic recession, is coming back strong, creating jobs, generating revenue and projects like this one are helping the Governor’s overall efforts to build the new Virginia economy.”
“Most of Halifax County includes farms and forest land,” said Dennis Witt, Chair of the Halifax County Board of Supervisors. “Many of our citizens live on and work the land. We appreciate the Commonwealth's help in supporting Halifax County’s rural communities and the businesses that operate here. The Slick Rock Lumber project is a testament to the hard work and determination of some of our local forestry business leaders to find new ways to grow in Halifax County.”
Kenneth Hodges, owner of Slick Rock Lumber,added, “We are thankful to everyone for their support.”
Delegate James Edmunds (R-Halifax) states, “I’m delighted that Slick Rock Lumber will receive this AFID grant. It is this very type of small business growth that will position Southern Virginia to grow economically and it is a perfect fit for our local forestry industry. I look forward to watching them grow!”
The Commonwealth is partnering with Halifax County and Slick Rock Lumber on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). Governor McAuliffe approved a $12,000 grant from the AFID Fund to assist with the project, whichHalifax County is matching with local funds.
Since the beginning of the McAuliffe administration, 622 economic development deals have been closed in Virginia with $10.21 billion in capital investment, which is more than any previous governor in the first 25 months in office.