After a banner year for the forest products industry in Alabama, the sector is primed for even more growth and innovation.
Last year, Alabama recorded forest products industry projects involving $1.2 billion in new investment and more than 1,000 anticipated jobs, according to the Alabama Forestry Association and the 2016 New and Expanding Industry Report issued by the Alabama Department of Commerce.
The investment total made forest products the state’s top Accelerate Alabama target industry for 2016, surpassing the juggernaut automotive and aerospace industries, which recorded impressive totals of their own. Accelerate is the state’s strategic economic development growth plan.
Forest products is a cyclical industry, and is now on a prolonged upswing after a very severe industry recession, said Ken Muehlenfeld, director of the Forest Products Development Center at AIDT, the state’s top workforce training agency.