The Kane Hardwood dimension mill will be shuttered later this month and five workers will be laid off.
Kane Hardwood General Manager Richard Engebretsen announced this week that, following an exhaustive review of remaining customers, financial data reviewed by local staff and Collins corporate officers, officials chose to close the mill as of April 28.
At the dimension mill, stock begins as red oak, cherry, soft maple, hard maple or beech and is cut and finished to size to meet customer specifications. Products include cut-to-size blanks, edge-glued panels, laminated posts, balusters and moldings.
“The dimension mill portion of our business has struggled over recent years, and with the news of our largest customer not needing our products, the dimension mill will shut down,” he said. “All other aspects of our business at Kane Hardwood, including our forestry department, sawmill, dry end operation, and sales, will continue to operate uninterrupted.”
Engebretsen said officials have met with teams in Kane, and they are following up with affected employees to go over job statuses and potential jobs at Kane.
“With recent retirements and other individuals changing careers, it looks as though five people will be moved into layoff status,” he said. “These individuals will have an option to be placed into a hiring pool for future openings. The chances are excellent that all laid off employees will be offered work within six months or less.”
Operations at Kane Hardwood have been in existence since 1855. In addition to hardwoods, Collins produces softwoods, pine particleboard, engineered wood siding and trim. Collins has more than 311,000 acres of Forest Stewardship Council-certified forest lands, six facilities and 643 employees in the United States and more than 100 employees in Kane.
“Our hope is that as a team, and as a community, we will continue to grow together,” he said.
Even with the latest development, Engebretsen said the company is heading in a good direction this year. Collins will continue to focus on delivering the highest quality hardwood lumber products from Northwest Pennsylvania to customers throughout the country and abroad.
“Our log yard is full. Lumber prices are good for this time of year,” he said. “The 2017 investment in small log processing equipment has allowed us to successfully secure and process small logs that most other operations shy away from. In spite of the loss of the dimension mill, the future is bright.”