(12/07/2006)
By David Hedges Publisher
Times Record-Roane Co. Reporter

Canada's loss could be Roane County's gain.

General Woods & Veneers, operators of the Spencer Veneer plant in the Roane Industrial Park, has announced plans to close its plant in Montreal as of Dec. 31.

The business from that plant is expected to shift to the company's other two plants in Spencer and Charlotte, N.C.

"It's really good news for us," said Nathan Couch, general manager at Spencer Veneer. "It should create some more jobs in the area."

The main factor in deciding to close the plant in Montreal was the currency exchange rate between the U.S. and Canada, which, according to Couch, has decimated the textile, forestry, furniture and plywood industries in Canada. Couch said other manufacturing industries have been hurt as well with production being shifted to plants in other countries.

Couch said half of the veneers currently produced at the plant in Canada will be produced at Spencer Veneer, with the other half being produced at the plant in Charlotte that operates under the name Genwove. He said the two plants have about the same size workforce.

Couch said the Spencer plant, with about 130 employees at present, has actually seen a decline in employment in the last few months, primarily as the result of difficulty in getting logs.

"This should get us back to where we were a few months ago," he said. "We should be around 155 (employees) when we get back up." ... Read rest of story   www.thetimesrecord.net


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