June 12, 2007

Kevin Hall
(804) 225-4260

David Wynne
American Wood Fibers
Christie Miller
(804) 545-5805
-American Wood Fibers to expand operations-

RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced that American Wood Fibers (AWF), a leader in the field of specialty forestry products, will invest $9 million to expand its operations in Smyth County. The project will create 30 new jobs and save 30 existing jobs. Virginia successfully competed with Kentucky, North Carolina, and Ohio for the project.

“It is great news that American Wood Fibers will expand and further enhance its operations in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Kaine. “This project adds to the success of the growing and impressive wood products industry cluster in Southwest Virginia.”

Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, American Wood Fibers is committed to providing a positive contribution to the environment through total wood waste utilization and the development of environmentally friendly products. They are leaders in providing specialty forest products to their industrial, pet, agricultural, and energy customers.

“The Commonwealth of Virginia and Smyth County demonstrated a commitment to support our strategic initiative to grow our business in Southwest Virginia,” said Stephen Faehner, Vice-President of Industrial Sales & Business Development, American Wood Fibers. “The Virginia Economic Development Partnership team, along with local business leaders, worked to coordinate local initiatives with state programs to provide the most complete package of support. We found the site through their Web site and received the information we needed to make the best decision for our employees, suppliers and valued customers.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Smyth County and Virginia’s aCorridor to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Kaine approved $100,000 from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Smyth County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $60,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds to support the project. The company is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, because it is locating in a Virginia Enterprise Zone. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training assistance through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“Smyth County is proud to be the home of this expanding wood-products company and looks forward to its continued success,” said Charlie Clark, Chairman of the Smyth County Board of Supervisors. “The new jobs and investment will be an asset to our local economy.”


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