Butler Co. Announces Expansion At Coastal Forest Products, Means Future Jobs

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By Catalina Trivino

A Butler County company is getting ready for a major expansion... and that means more jobs are on the way...

 

Right now, Coastal Forest Products has about 300 workers.

With the housing market improving, plant managers at Coastal Forest Products say they have to keep up with demand, which is why a multi-million dollar expansion is in the works.

Coastal Forest Products is a wholesale supplier of wood. Plant managers say they are expanding their plant by 60,000 square feet, at a cost of $20-million -- and construction is already underway.

"The intent is to replace our older drier technology with newer drier technology," Said Nick Ausman, General Manager of Coastal Forest Products. "The long term goal is to put a third drier in place. It will allow us to expand our operations."

Part of the plan is to put three veneer driers. They're each 390-degree ovens that dry the wood, each costing about $3-million.

They hope to expand their shipping dock and move machinery into the new building. Parts of their current building will become storage area.

That means about 50 new jobs on the plant floor. If you include jobs, such as truck drivers and wood cutters, you're looking at about 125 jobs total.

"The jobs that are going to be needed to support will be some operator jobs, drier operators, fork-lift operators, graters, drier feeders, we'll end up later putting on another shift on our green end," Said Ausman.

Plant managers tell us the hiring process will start around October. Butler County Economic Development Chairman and Greenville Mayor, Dexter McLendon, says the company is the heart-beat of the county.

"From an industrial stand-point for jobs... because they create so many jobs... when they are producing and doing things that they have been doing the last three years and now to continue to do it means that you're going to have jobs for a long time," Said McLendon.

Their goal is to finish construction by January 2015.