LAURINBURG — Edwards Wood Products plans to expand in Scotland County with a $30 million investment in a new saw mill, state Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland announced on Wednesday.
The manufacturer of wood pallets and high-grade lumber will invest the money over the next three years and create 46 new jobs. The company also plans for a second phase that will include an additional $20 million investment.
“It is companies such as Edwards Wood Products that continue to assist in making Scotland County thrive,” said Bob Davis, chairman of the Scotland County Economic Development Corporation. “They have been a supporter of our community for 27 years and this new investment of capital and jobs is a testimony to their commitment.”
Salaries for the new jobs will vary by position, but will average $42,391. The average wage in Scotland County is $34,037.
“Edwards Wood Products has grown significantly over the past several years, and this expansion is key to their continued success,” Copeland said. “Scotland County is well-suited for this project, and the partnership we had between the county, community college, the Department of Transportation and N.C. Railroad was key to making this happen.”
A performance-based grant of $150,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help facilitate the construction of the facility. The One N.C. Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All One NC grants require a matching grant from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.
The incentive package developed by Scotland County includes the company’s $50 million investment and the creation of a total of 90 jobs over five years.
County officials said the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. were instrumental in supporting the company’s expansion decision.
“I’m thankful to have a network of supporters willing to step in and assist as needed.,” said Mark Ward, county economic development director. “This is just another great example of a team working together for the greater good of our county and state.”
Other key partners in the project include the N.C. General Assembly, the N.C. Community College System, the N.C. Department of Transportation, the N.C. Railroad Company, Scotland County and the Scotland County Economic Development Corporation and Richmond Community College.
“This decision continues to demonstrate Edwards Wood Product’s belief in our workforce and their commitment to having a strong industrial presence in Scotland County.,” said Carol McCall, chair of the county board of commissioners. “The county and SCEDC Board always value an expanding industry in our community.”
Edwards Wood Products has a facility on Old Lumberton Road. Other locations include Marshville, Peachland, and Liberty and Manning, S.C.
The business was founded in 1969 in Marshville, by Carroll Edwards. Today, the group of six companies is owned and led by his son, Jeff Edwards. Edwards Wood Products is one of the largest producers of wood pallets, high grade lumber, wood chips, crane and bridge mats and by-products in the Southeast U.S.
“We are excited to expand our operations in Scotland County,” said Jeff Edwards, President at Edwards Wood Products. “We have partnered with Scotland County and the city of Laurinburg since our initial investment there in 1990 and look forward to expanding that relationship with this new facility. Thank you to Gov. Cooper, Sens. Tommy Tucker and Tom McInnis, as well as all the state and local officials for supporting this project and helping to bring it to reality.”