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RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Musser Lumber Company, Inc. will expand current operations in Rural Retreat, creating 12 new jobs and investing $2.4 million in Wythe County. The family-owned company is adding new production and drying capacity for sawdust and wood shavings which it will source exclusively from Virginia sawmills. Over the next three years, this will lead to more than $8.5 million in additional forest product purchases.
“Musser Lumber’s continued growth and success in Wythe County is a testament to the strength of Virginia’s forestry industry,” said Governor Northam. “I am grateful to the Musser family for their commitment to Southwest Virginia and for investing in our rural communities.”
Established in 1968 and founded by Mike Musser and his two sons, Musser Lumber Company specializes in drying, surfacing, and planing of hardwood lumber for flooring and paneling. The company, which sources from more than a dozen sawmills, plays an important role in the supply chain for Virginia forest products by packing and shipping Virginia hardwood lumber to customers across the country and around the world. This expansion will enable Musser Lumber Company to increase its production and purchase of sawdust, shavings, and wood chips from Virginia mills and grow its sales of these materials to decking manufacturers, plastic extrusion companies, and wood pellet producers.
“Thanks to companies like Musser Lumber, forestry is the Commonwealth’s third largest private industry, contributing nearly $20 billion to our economy each year,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “I am pleased that the Commonwealth could partner with Wythe County through the AFID program to support this family-owned business in growing the market for Virginia hardwoods which supports proper management and restoration of our forests.”
“This project is an important win for Wythe County as we focus on the Commonwealth’s economic rebound from this global pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Forestry continues to be a pillar in communities across Virginia because industry leaders recognize the benefits of our abundant natural resources, extensive transportation network, and unparalleled workforce. Musser Lumber is a valued contributor to the supply chain for Virginia forest products, and we thank the company for its investment.”
“Musser Lumber Company, Inc. has been in business for over 50 years and our family has had ties to the town of Rural Retreat and Wythe County for many decades,” said Ed Musser, Vice President of Musser Lumber Company. “We started the company here and continue to grow because of our dedicated workforce, convenient location, and doing business the right way. Musser Lumber Company, Inc. is grateful for the support of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Wythe County, and the Joint Industrial Development Authority.”
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services worked with Wythe County and the Joint Industrial Development Authority of Wythe County, Wytheville, and Rural Retreat to secure the Project for the Commonwealth. Governor Northam approved a $75,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund to assist Wythe County with the project. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
“The Musser Family has worked tirelessly to make Musser Lumber a leader in the hardwood lumber industry,” said Wythe County Board of Supervisors Chairman Brian Vaught. “Their products represent the craftsmanship of Wythe County and are a perfect example of ‘Made Wythe Pride.’ This investment is a significant step into diversifying their offerings and will serve to sustain this important forest products business for future generations.”
“I am very pleased for the announcement at Musser Lumber Company and for the bright future it holds for the company and its employees,” said Delegate Jeffrey Campbell. “Musser Lumber has been an invaluable member of the Wythe County community for many years and this announcement is indicative of their commitment to our community and its citizens.”
“Family-owned businesses like Musser Lumber are part of what makes Southwest Virginia a great place to live and work,” said Senator Todd Pillion. “This investment is a recognition of Musser’s important role in Virginia’s forestry industry and a testament to our region’s qualified workforce. The General Assembly created the AFID fund, in part, to expand agriculture and forestry processing/value-added facilities using Virginia-grown products—and that is exactly what we are accomplishing today in Wythe County. I appreciate the work of all those who made this announcement a reality.”
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