A business to build onPublished 11:20pm Thursday, February 9, 2012
More jobs are on their way to Dallas County.
With several local and state representatives on hand Thursday, Selma & Dallas County Economic Development Authority executive director Wayne Vardaman announced Eovations, LLC, a subsidiary of Universal Forest Products, will begin producing building materials in the former Louisiana Pacific facility at 5 Meadowcraft Parkway in the Craig Industrial Park by the end of this year.
The company, Vardaman said, will start small and ease into steady expansion.
“The company plans to invest $7.3 million in improvements to the newly purchased facility which includes the purchase of machinery and equipment,” he said. “Renovations are scheduled to begin within 45 days and plans are to have sufficient machinery installed to run five manufacturing lines by Oct. 30.”
The company will initially hire three people as they begin receiving equipment and laying out the production lines, Vardaman said. By the projected start-up date, they expect to have between 15 and 25 employees.
Eovations, Universal Forest Products vice president Dick McBride said, is a new venture, and a project the company is very enthusiastic about launching in Dallas County.
“We’re pretty excited about this,” he said. “We’re very pleased to be here, and it is a wonderful facility.”
Selma native and Alabama State Sen. Hank Sanders said bringing in a new plant is like adding a member of the family.
“Every time a new industry comes, it’s a wonderful feeling because you can feel the growth,” he said. “We have a great appreciation to Universal Forest Products and Eovations. I certainly want to express a special appreciation to everyone that worked on this project. It tells you again what can happen when we work together across all lines and differences.”
The newest member to the Dallas County family should have a positive impact on existing Dallas County families, Vardaman said.
Many of the positions at the plant will be production jobs with competitive wages and a full benefit package. By Dec. 31, 2014, the company intends to increase its capital investment to operate 12 manufacturing lines and employ approximately 70 to 90 people.
Vardaman credited the Dallas County Commission, Team Selma and others for their role in bringing the new business to Dallas County and Craig Industrial Park.
Dallas County Probate Judge Kim Ballard agreed, saying it took teamwork to make this project happen. Continued teamwork, he said, will make it succeed.
“It’s a cooperative effort,” he said. “This is an impressive bunch of guys with class from the top down. I’m sure this is going to be a great corporate, city, county, state relationship from now on, and we welcome them here and extend our hospitality.”
Universal Forest Products was founded in 1955 and is headquartered in Grand Rapid, Mich. The company works to design, manufacture and market wood and wood-alternative products for DIY/retail home centers and other retailers, manufactured housing, residential and commercial construction, concrete construction and industrial applications. The Company’s consumer products subsidiary offers a large portfolio of outdoor living products, including wood composite decking, decorative balusters, post caps and plastic lattice. Its lawn and garden group offers an array of products, such as trellises and arches, to retailers
Universal Forest Products has operations throughout North America and approximately 5,000 employees.
With a new location ready to operate in Selma, McBride said he looks forward to an open and honest relationship with local leaders.
“We look forward to doing what we say,” he said. “We look forward to growing in this community and being a good corporate citizen. We will not be afraid to ask fro help as we move forward.”
For more about Universal Forest Products, visit www.ufpi.com.