Investment Boost for Kootenay Cladding and Specialty Wood Product Manufacturer

West Kootenay businesses within the wood production and manufacturing sectors are set to experience a significant boost from new provincial funding aimed at job protection and community support. This investment is designed to fuel innovation and bolster economic stability across the region.

Brenda Bailey, the Minister of Jobs, Economic Development, and Innovation, highlighted the importance of such funding. “Empowering rural, value-added enterprises is essential for enabling residents to continue living and contributing to their local economies,” she commented.

The BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund is injecting close to half a million dollars into the area’s businesses to inspire innovation. Creston’s J.H. Huscroft Ltd. is slated to receive up to $400,000 for capital improvements, which will enhance their production capabilities, secure 75 jobs, and expand their processing range.

Justin Storm, J.H. Huscroft Ltd.’s president, shared his enthusiasm for the project. “This funding not only expedites our expansion but also reinforces the province’s commitment to the value-added forest-product industry,” Storm stated.

Open for applications, the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund continues to approve funding that will lead to direct community benefits, stable jobs, and sustainable growth. Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests, emphasized the larger goal of this initiative. “We’re not just financing expansion; we’re investing in future-proofing our communities by modernizing our industries,” he said.

Complementing the BCMJF, the Ministry of Forests launched the Value-Added Manufacturing Program earlier in January to assure a dedicated supply of fibre for smaller manufacturers, encouraging the local production of high-value wood products. This strategic focus intends to diversify the forestry sector and enhance its resilience against global economic fluctuations.

The pursuit of strengthening rural economies forms a crucial component of the Province’s StrongerBC Economic Plan, which aims at fostering a robust, clean, and inclusive economy that nurtures innovation across all regions.

Representatives from the local region, including Katrine Conroy and Brittny Anderson, echoed the sentiment of community strengthening. Conroy, the MLA for Kootenay West, remarked, “By fostering innovation in local businesses, we’re not only protecting jobs but also reinforcing the fabric of our communities.” Anderson, MLA for Nelson-Creston, added, “Such investments are pivotal for ensuring the sustainability and diversity of our local economy while supporting enduring employment opportunities.”

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