MCBAIN — Responding to increased demand for their products, Biewer Sawmill plans to build a brand new facility on their property in McBain and hire 17 additional workers.
Shawn Johnstone, director of Michigan sawmills for Biewer, said they will be constructing a 50-by-350-foot addition to house new sawmilling equipment and a continuous dry kiln.
"We needed to increase our drying capacity," Johnstone said. "This will increase capacity by 50 percent."
Johnstone said the production improvements are being made to keep up with demand for their products from companies such as Menards, retail lumberyards and home centers primarily throughout the Midwestern United States and in Canada.
He expects construction will begin in April and should be finished by November or December.
Between now and then, Johnstone said they will be making additional hires in every area of production, including general laborers, machine maintenance and programmable logic controllers.
Biewer plans to invest $31,026,000 in the new facility. The company selected Michigan over a competing site in Wisconsin.
“Our additional investment in our McBain sawmill demonstrates our commitment to the local community as well as our belief in the future of the forest products industry in Michigan," said Biewer Sawmill President Tim Biewer. "We thank the city of McBain and the MEDC for sharing that commitment and belief and for their support in helping this project move forward.‘
The city of McBain has offered property tax abatement valued at $311,000 in support of the project.
To help with the construction, Biewer is working with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
“We’re working to spark business growth, revitalize communities and create more and better jobs for our residents,‘ said Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the state’s chief marketing and business attraction arm that administers programs and performs due diligence on behalf of the Michigan Strategic Fund.
“The decision by Biewer to expand in Michigan rather than in another state underscores our business-friendly environment and talented workforce,‘ Mason said.
Biewer Sawmill, Inc. is a family-owned manufacturer of dimensional lumber, timbers, decking and fencing.
Based on the expectation of the expansion creating new jobs in the area, the Michigan Business Development Program awarded Biewer a $170,000 performance-based grant.
Individuals interested in careers with Biewer Sawmill should visit www.biewerlumber.com/career-opportunities-2/.