American Wood Fibers, Inc., a specialty forest products supplier, has selected Scotland County for a new manufacturing site and will create 51 jobs. The company will invest $19.5 million to add new capabilities to a facility previous operated by Nature’s Earth Pellets in Laurinburg.
American Wood Fibers, founded in 1966 in Maryland, owns and operates 10 production facilities across the United States, processing over one billion pounds of wood by-products into finished goods such as animal bedding, pet litter, wood pellets, and wood fibers. In Laurinburg, the company will produce wood pellets for fuel, bedding, and barbeque markets, installing new equipment to improve the safety, pollution control, and overall capacity of the plant. The company also aims to install substantial equipment in the future to produce products such as wood fibers and wood shavings.
“Our team has been actively searching for years to find the best combination of people, infrastructure, and supplies to expand our diversified company into the Southeast. We are excited to build upon the foundation that Nature’s Earth established in Laurinburg,” said Stephen Faehner, President & Chief Executive Officer of American Wood Fibers. “We are extremely appreciative of the support from Governor Cooper, the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Scotland County and the City of Laurinburg. We plan to create additional opportunities for career growth for our team as we provide a positive contribution to the environment by utilizing by-products from the surrounding forest product industries.”
“North Carolina offers one of the best business climates in the nation,” said Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “I’m pleased American Wood Fibers has joined the long list of companies that understand first-hand the many advantages our state offers as a business location.”
The company’s 51 new jobs will yield an average salary of $38,196, although actual wages will vary by position. The Scotland County average annual wage is $36,308. The project will create for the community an annual payroll impact of more than $1.9 million.
A performance-based grant of $100,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help facilitate American Wood Fibers’ expansion in Scotland County. The OneNC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All OneNC grants require a matching grant from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.
Partnering with the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Duke Energy, Richmond Community College, Scotland County, the City of Laurinburg, and the Laurinburg-Scotland Chamber of Commerce.