For Immediate Release:
June 8, 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 Jobs, Investment in Pittsylvania County
~Gregory Lumber, Inc. to Expand Sawmill Operation, Purchase Almost $8 Million in Virginia Forest Products~
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Gregory Lumber, Inc. will expand its sawmill operations in Pittsylvania County. The company will create three new jobs in the county and source 75 percent of its timber needs from Virginia land owners. Gregory Lumber will invest $3 million in construction and equipment needed to add an automated lumber sorting system that will increase production by 50 percent.
“Partnering with a company like Gregory Lumber is a way my administration can support the growth of Virginia’s forest products sector, one of Virginia’s top private industries,” said Governor McAuliffe. “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. Gregory Lumber’s new expansion will bring welcomed economic vitality to the region, further helping with my administration’s efforts to build the new Virginia economy. I applaud the company’s commitment to Java and continued investment in Pittsylvania County and Virginia.”
Gregory Lumber, one of the largest sawmills in the region, has been operating for nearly 30 years in the Java community of Pittsylvania County. The company primarily sells lumber into traditional pine markets and specialty construction markets, as well as the biomass industry. Gregory Lumber is also committing to purchase almost $8 million of Virginia timber over the next three years, or approximately 75 percent of the forestry inputs needed to supply its expansion.
“Gregory Lumber’s continued investment in Pittsylvania County and Virginia represents increased opportunities for the county and regional forestland owners,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore. “Indeed, Southside Virginia is regarded as one of the Commonwealth’s most abundant and sustainable wood baskets, so Gregory Lumber is well-positioned for sustained success.With forestry being one of Virginia’s largest private industries, responsible for an $18 billion economic impact annually and more than 100,000 jobs, economic development projects like this are vital to the Governor’s efforts with the private sector to build the new Virginia economy
John Gregory, owner of Gregory Lumber added, “We are blessed to have the timber base in Virginia to support our expansion. We have a loyal customer base already in place to buy the additional lumber production and are thankful for the confidence shown us by both Pittsylvania County and the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
“Agriculture and forestry reign supreme in Virginia and throughout Pittsylvania County as well,” said Jessie Barksdale, Chair of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors. “We are seeking new and diverse business ventures for economic growth and development in Pittsylvania County.”
“The Commonwealth’s forestry industry is strong in Southside, and Pittsylvania County is a tremendous place to grow a business,” said Senator Bill Stanley (R-Glade Hill). “I’m pleased that Gregory Lumber is continuing to build on their successful sawmill operation here in Southside, and forestland owners from across the Commonwealth will benefit from their dedication to buying Virginia products.”
“I am very pleased that Gregory Lumber continues to invest here in Pittsylvania County and the Java community,” said Delegate Les Adams (R-Chatham).“The Commonwealth, and especially Southside Virginia, benefits from the success of robust small businesses and so I happily commend Gregory Lumber on their expansion.”
The Commonwealth is partnering with Pittsylvania County and Gregory 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. Governor McAuliffe approved a $50,000 grant from the AFID Fund to assist with the project, which Pittsylvania County is matching with local funds.