State looks to expand forest products opportunities
By MICHAEL KRANSZ
Capital News Service
LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder’s ongoing campaign to increase the value of Michigan’s forest products industry to $20 billion annually by 2018 got a major boost with the recent announcement of a particle board manufacturing plant locating in Grayling. The plant is touted as the soon-to-be largest of its kind in North America and will bring a $325 million investment and 250 jobs to Michigan when construction is completed in 2018, according to Arauco, the Chilean company in charge of the project. Andy Such, director of regulatory and environmental policy for the Michigan Manufacturers Association, said the project represents the growth of manufacturing in the forest products sector. “The particle board plant is a good example of the kind of activity that we’re seeing now,” Such said. “It’s kind of like water dripping on a stone: It takes a while to make an impact, but we’re seeing it.”
In 2013, Snyder outlined goals for the forest products industry at a summit of business leaders, interest groups and government representatives.