Chester Wood announces $10 million expansion

Chester County’s biggest industrial employer is about to get even bigger.

Chester Wood Products, which makes and distributes wood products for the industrial and commercial construction markets, is officially announcing expansion plans for its Chester County facility today. The total value of the investment is $10 million, which is expected to generate 20 new jobs.

“We are pleased to be a major presence in a business-friendly area. We strongly believe in our business and the people of the Upstate region and the Chester community,” said Dick Baldwin, vice president and general manager of Chester Wood Products.

Plans call for an upgrade to the company’s hardwood plywood production operation, located at 1445 Lancaster Hwy. The expansion will take about a year, with a completion date tentatively set for the middle of 2013.

“Today’s announcement is another win for one of South Carolina’s rural areas. We celebrate Chester Wood Products’ decision to invest $10 million and create 20 new jobs in Chester County. When our state’s existing businesses, like Chester Wood Products, increase their footprint here, we know we’re on the right track with our economic development efforts,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.

The company also supplies softwood plywood and lumber products to the residential construction market. Timber for the company’s products comes from 11 Upstate counties.

“It’s great to see Chester Wood Products expand operations here in South Carolina. Our state’s manufacturing sector continues to grow and create new jobs. The Palmetto State’s manufacturing renaissance continues to gather steam,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.

Since January 2011, South Carolina has recruited more than $6.8 billion in capital investment and more than 16,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector.

Chester County Supervisor Carlisle Roddey said new industry arrivals are great, but that it is equally good to see an existing industry grow and add additional workers.

“Chester Wood Products is our largest manufacturing employer in Chester County. We celebrate Chester Wood Products’ decision to invest and create new jobs in Chester County,” Roddey said.

Roddey said he was thankful Chester County has industries like Chester Wood Products that are dedicated to the county.

“During the down times, when our economy was struggling in Chester, they never laid anybody off. It shows they have a vested interest in Chester,” Roddey said.

“We applaud Chester Wood Products investment in modernizing and upgrading their facility in Chester County which will create new jobs. This announcement is just one more sign of Chester County’s business-friendly environment. Their commitment to Chester County, their employees and the surrounding area should be celebrated,” said Chester Development Association Chairman Mike Enoch.

By Travis Jenkins, Staff Reporter with The News & Reporter