Lumber company to add jobs in high unemployment area of Butler C - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Lumber company to add jobs in high unemployment area of Butler Co.

GEORGIANA, AL (WSFA) -

A positive sign for the economy: more new jobs. Coastal Forest Products made the announcement Thursday. It supplies lumber for the housing industry.

The plant is on Highway 31 in Chapman, just outside Georgiana.

Officials say an up-tick in the economy allowed for the $20 million expansion.

"It's a great day to be an elected official in Butler County and have great news," says County Commission Chairman, Jesse McWilliams.

The plant hasn't always been owned by Coastal.

In fact, a few years ago, McWilliams was losing faith in the facility.

"For such a long time, the plant started going downward, there was no investment going there. And then in 2009 when Coastal come in, they started it back up," adds McWilliams.

The company is already working to renovate its existing building. The vision with the new expansion is to do exactly what they're doing now for the next 40+ years. That's why Butler County leaders took necessary action to make sure the business doesn't go anywhere.

"The commission had their part of trying to come up with incentives," adds McWilliams.

The county commission offered the company $70,000 dollars over a three year period.

The money could be used for employee training, which is expected to take place within the next few months.

"As we get a better idea of when all this is going to come together, then we'll be hiring ahead of completion of those projects and in advance of bringing equipment online," says General Manager Nick Ausman.

For a county with more than 11% of its population unemployed, the announcement couldn't come at a better time.

"The Chapman plant is the heart and soul of Butler County."

Company executives say Coastal's new demands will also provide at least 75 jobs at other logging companies.

Copyright 2013  WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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