Secondary-Wood-Manufacturing-in-Maine Maine’s forest products industry is not dead, and you don’t have to take my word for it. An excellent report on our state’s secondary wood manufacturing economy is now available.
The subtitle of the report says it all: $1.8 billion industry is ‘almost invisible.’ The first article, by Roberta Scruggs, Communications Director for the Maine Forest Products Council, is especially informative. Here’s one thing I read in Roberta’s report that surprised me:
“Maine has the strongest secondary manufacturing of all the Northern New England states by far,” said Dave Redmond, director of Wood Products Initiatives at the Northern Forest Center. “Several wood products businesses during the recession went out of business, but the remaining businesses were stronger and were able to pick up the pieces and move forward.”
Good to know. A study of Maine’s secondary wood manufacturing industry by MFPC and folks at UMaine found “the total impact was 8,884 jobs and $1.8 billion in 2014, about 20% of the forest products industry’s $10.2 billion 2014 impact.”
Roberta’s excellent article includes many “lessons learned,” including the fact that our secondary wood processors could not compete on low-end products, and to compete with imports, “companies need documented quality control, proximity to markets, and must sharpen the pencil at both ends.”
This report includes lots more, from an articles about wood imported and exported (Maine, China, Canada) to answering the question “Has white birch bolted from Maine markets?”
At the end of the report you’ll find a partial list of Maine’s secondary woods product manufacturers, including my friends at Robbins Lumber Company in Searsmont. A photo on the back page shows one of the youngest Robbins clan in front of one of their products. Adorable!