Columbia Forest Products to add jobs locally

(Chatham, Va.) — Columbia Forest Products has announced the immediate hiring of 44 new employees throughout its network of mills in Chatham, Va. and Old Fort and Craigsville, West Virginia.

The exact number of new hires coming to Pittsylvania County was not disclosed, but the Old Fort plant is adding 24 new jobs.

Brad Thompson, Columbia’s president and CEO, attributed these jobs directly to the outcome of the trade case against imported Chinese plywood.

The new positions were announced shortly after the International Trade Commission issued its final determination that the domestic hardwood plywood manufacturing industry had been harmed by dumped and subsidized imports of Chinese hardwood plywood.

Greg Pray, Columbia’s executive vice president for U.S. operations, said that these new positions were created to ramp up production capacity at three key mills, and that additional jobs will likely be created in 2018 at these, and other Columbia operations in Oregon and Arkansas.

Thompson said that had the ITC decision gone the other way, Columbia would have been eliminating positions, and entire mills throughout the industry would have been shuttered.