Lumber related employment up in Coos County

Lumber related employment up in Coos County

COOS COUNTY, Ore. -- A recent report of labor trends on the South Coast showed a rise in payroll employment across several industries, but one industry that's seen a great rebound since the recession is the wood product manufacturing industry.

An Oregon Employment Department Report shows wood manufacturing jobs in Coos County have grown by nearly 200 since December of 2010.

A good sign for the industry is the rise in housing starts in the county.

Eric Farm from the Menasha Corporation says housing starts have made a dramatic rebound. "Over the last three years, we've went from about 600,000 starts a year to almost 900, and almost a million a year," he said.

Farm says home construction has a positive effect on all the workers involved in the process. "All the way back to loggers out in the woods, truck drivers, you've got the wood moving on the rail now, so all those it's just a real ripple effect," Farm said.

A local manager who buys from wood manufacturers says the sales side is also thriving. "We've brought in cabinets from local Oregon manufacturers and we've just been selling them like crazy, and just business in general has been up pretty steady for the past three years," said Randall Shelman, manager for LNL Lumber.

Manufacturers say it's not easy to predict the future, but they do expect the growth in the industry to continue in Coos County.