B.C. boosts West Kootenay wood producers with new funding
October 25, 2023 By Government of B.C.
New funding for value-added wood producers and manufacturing businesses in the Kootenays will protect workforces and support strong communities.
“Strengthening rural, value-added businesses is critical to helping people live and work in the communities they love,” said Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation. “That’s why we are supporting companies that add value to B.C. wood so they can continue to provide long-lasting, high-quality jobs for people in communities around B.C.”
As part of the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund, nearly $500,000 is being invested into Kootenay businesses to help them innovate for the future. As much as $400,000 will support a capital improvement project by Creston’s J.H. Huscroft Ltd., a value-added speciality manufacturer of glulam, trim, boarding and flooring. The company will purchase and replace equipment that will boost productivity and capacity at its sawmill, protecting 75 jobs and expanding the types of logs that can be processed.
“With our investment into a new sawmill sort line, we will be able to increase our sorting capability by three times to produce a wider range of specialty products and allow us to run multiple species at once,” said Justin Storm, president and general manager, J.H. Huscroft Ltd.
“This will help maintain our current and potentially new specialty-product markets. The funding from the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund will allow us to complete the project in a timelier manner and shows a commitment to the value-added forest-product industry in British Columbia.”
Funding will also support:
- as much as $50,000 for Trail’s KC Recycling’s technical and operational assessment to establish a facility and recycling system to separate materials in large lead acid batteries for recycling and re-use; and
- as much as $40,000 for Trail’s Advanced BioCarbon 3D to examine expansion possibilities and potential new equipment to better process agricultural, forestry and plastic waste to upcycle into higher value products.
The BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund supports for-profit organizations to plan and launch shovel-ready, high-value industrial and manufacturing projects that bring direct benefits and stable, family-supporting jobs to communities while driving clean and inclusive growth throughout the province. Applications for the fund are open and being approved on an ongoing basis.
“Today, we are funding companies that are expanding our industries and finding new ways to get value from our forests and other sectors,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “We are modernizing and innovating so that small communities in our province will have more stable economies and good-paying jobs.”
Funding through the BCMJF is part of a series of programs that the province has introduced to support the growth of value-added manufacturing in B.C. In January 2023, the Ministry of Forests introduced a new Value-Added Manufacturing Program to establish a dedicated fibre supply for small and medium-sized manufacturers. The Province is working with the value-added manufacturing sector to increase the flow of fibre and find ways to expand local production of high-value wood products. A strong value-added manufacturing industry diversifies the forestry sector, buffering against global market challenges.
Strengthening rural economies is part of the province’s work through the StrongerBC Economic Plan to build a strong and sustainable economy through clean and inclusive growth. Supporting B.C.’s manufacturing sector helps bring government closer to its goal of building a more innovative economy for businesses and communities throughout B.C.
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