Scotch Plywood Company holds celebratory lunch
WAYNESBORO, Miss. (WDAM) - On the night of Jan. 6, 2021, a massive fire swept through the Scotch Plywood Company’s veneer mill in Waynesboro, which was located at 798 Industrial Park Road.
The fire occurred during regular mill operations, and after the call went out, firefighters and first responders quickly arrived to try and contain the blaze, but the fire proved to be too much.
“First and foremost, we didn’t have anyone hurt, and that was the most important thing for the company,” said VP of Procurement, Charles Bradford. “Everyone was accounted for. Nobody was hurt, and they were out and safe.
“Then, of course, the recollection was very quick that it was going to be a complete loss.”
Following the fire, the company considered its employees and the many landowners and loggers that relied on the mill for their livelihoods.
“We count on the timber landowners to produce the trees that we’re going to harvest and put in here,” said VP of Scotch Plywood Company, Gray Skipper. “To harvest the trees, it takes the logging force, the local producers. The local producers are going to buy parts, fuel, gas, ice and with employees having money, Waynesboro has a better tax base to provide the needs for the community.”
Company officials quickly met and soon decided on a course of action.
A coach bus was used to transport the workers daily to the company’s mill in Beatrice, Ala. Production was ramped up which kept the timber moving and land management intact.
Meanwhile, the remnants of the old mill (roughly 23,000 square feet) were removed, the site was cleared and the land was prepped for the construction of a new, larger mill (approximately 43,000 square feet) on the same site.
Over the next 15 months, concrete was poured and the framework for the new mill began to take shape.
Soon, the building was completed and new equipment was installed and calibrated. After a series of tests, the startup of the mill began on March 14, 2022.
“It took us weeks to do what we thought would take months, and that’s because of the quality of employees that we have here in Waynesboro,” said one of the owners of the company, Montgomery Woods.
A new production record was nearly set just a few weeks ago. It missed by a mere 2,000 feet, but workers say that the old record won’t last very long.
On Wednesday, the company held a special appreciation luncheon for company workers, members of the community, business owners and city and county officials for a job well done.
Thanks to a strong commitment from the company and support from the community, the Scotch Plywood Company says it’s rebuilt, reopened and ready for business, bigger and better than before.
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