Sawmill bringing 500 new jobs to area

By Josh Beavers

Now here’s some good news. Though it’s over in Bienville Parish, the recent announcement of 500 new jobs is an economic boon for the entire area.

Located just 14 miles from downtown Minden, a new sawmill will be built thanks to a partnership between Hunt Forest Products and Tolko. Hunt co-owner James D. Hunt and Tolko President and CEO Brad Thorlakson announced that the companies will develop the sawmill at a cost of $240 million

The joint venture company will create 130 direct new jobs, with an average salary of $57,400, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the new sawmill will result in 387 indirect jobs for a total of more than 500 new jobs in Louisiana’s Northwest Region. Approximately 300 construction jobs will be created.

Sourcing timber locally, the state-of-the-art sawmill will require approximately 1.3 million tons of wood annually to produce an estimated 320 million board feet of lumber. The facility will be located on approximately 225 acres near the community of Taylor.

Construction on the new facility is expected to start in early 2022 with commercial operations starting in early 2023.

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