May 19, 2022

Rambler Wood Products sets up manufacturing facility in Saint Paul, Virginia

Rambler Wood Products will invest $ 7.6 million to establish a value-added wood products manufacturing plant in the former Bush Furniture Industries building in the city of Saint Paul, Virginia. The project is expected to create 73 new well-paying jobs.

The nearly 300,000 square foot facility will make Rambler Wood Products the first of its kind to operate entirely indoors, allowing full production year round. Through this project, the company is committed to sourcing at least 55 percent of its timber from the Commonwealth, supporting regional loggers and forest owners by purchasing $ 22.3 million of hardwood grown in Virginia. over the next three years.

“Rambler Wood Products is proud to announce that Saint Paul, Virginia will be the home of our new state-of-the-art manufacturing operations,” said Mark Wadams, founder of Rambler Wood Products. “Employees will be the driving force behind our success and we will provide quality, well-paying jobs to local residents. In addition to contributing to the economic rejuvenation of the region, we are committed to being thoughtful stewards of the region’s natural resources by implementing sustainable practices and a “waste nothing” philosophy throughout our operations. ”

The Commonwealth is partnering with Russell County, the Russell County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) and the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID), which is administered by the Virginia Department. agriculture and consumer services. Governor Northam has approved a $ 300,000 AFID Fund grant to secure the project for Virginia, which Russell County will match with local funds. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“Rambler Wood Products’ unique and state-of-the-art production facility will have an extremely positive impact on the City of Saint Paul, Russell County and Southwest Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Commerce Brian Ball. “The company’s commitment to creating 73 well-paying jobs and sourcing local wood will be a big economic boost for the region, and we thank Rambler Wood for rehabilitating a closed facility and putting Virginians to work.

“Companies like Rambler Wood Products provide important markets that help Commonwealth landowners maintain over 16 million acres of forest land,” Agriculture and Forestry Secretary Bettina Ring said. “These markets will help ensure that Virginia’s hardwood forests, which cover 78 percent of the Commonwealth and account for almost half of the revenue from timber produced in the state, are well managed for the future.

Rambler will convert high quality white oak into barrel staves for the West Virginia Great Barrel Company and other cooperages in the region. The facility will also use red oak and lower value hardwoods to produce dimensional lumber for sale to flooring manufacturers, pallet production and the mining industry. Wood residues will be sold to paper companies or transformed into biomass products. The remaining wood chips and sawdust will be sold to paper mills or transformed into wood pellets. By being able to purchase all tree species in a patch of timber, Rambler establishes a valuable new market for Virginia loggers and landowners that facilitates the sustainable management of forests in the area and helps maintain vibrant deciduous forests of Virginia.

“On behalf of VCEDA, we welcome Rambler Wood Products to Southwest Virginia, and the jobs and investments it will create,” said VCEDA Executive Director and General Counsel Jonathan Belcher . “VCEDA worked with Russell County IDA to land the project and provided a $ 2.5 million loan to IDA to acquire the project facilities.”