Gadsden County officials say the expansion of a new wood treatment facility represents new jobs and an influx of new revenue. The county’s development council courted the company with incentives.
Hoover Treated Wood Products is a 65-year-old company with plants across the U.S., but it opened a new facility in Gadsden in April. Its opening came at a time when North Florida counties were still reeling from the devastation of Hurricane Michael just 6 months before.
Barry Holden is Hoover’s president. He says the conditions were right in Gadsden to grow his company.
“You know, there’s certain things that are necessary for a company to support the industry, particularly in our case, as far as raw material, other goods and services and everything – and it seemed like all of those things existed here in Gadsden County,” Holden said to a crowd gathered for the expanded facility’s debut. “And then we always look at the aspect of employees, and finding good employees and a good base of employees to meet our needs, and it seemed like those are readily available here as well.”
A who’s who of Gadsden County leadership was on hand Thursday for the ribbon cutting on the facility’s expansion, which relied on property acquisition and extended water and natural gas utility infrastructure.
Gadsden County Development Council chairman Antonio Jefferson says the company will generate about $5.3 million dollars in new revenue annually, and brought about 40 new jobs to the area.
“The Gadsden County Development Council, in partnership with the Town of Havana, put together a grant application under the Rural Infrastructure Fund, which provided 323,000 for this project to extend the public infrastructure needed for this business,” Jefferson explained.
The Rural Infrastructure Fund gives grants through the state Department of Economic Opportunity. Democratic state Senator Bill Montford represents Gadsden’s District.
“The State Chamber of Commerce a year ago said that we have fewer jobs in rural Florida than we did five years ago. There’s a dire need for jobs in these rural areas. Hoover coming in here will provide an opportunity for a lot of people – a better life for a lot of people,” Montford said. “And that’s what it’s all about.”
Hoover Treated Wood Products makes fire-retardant wood and plywood for construction.