February 16, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C.– U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King today applauded the news that SmartLam, LLC, the nation’s first manufacturer of cross-laminated timber, plans to launch a new factory in Maine that would create 100 jobs.
“This is yet another piece of good news for Maine’s forest products industry,” Senators Collins and King said. “The fact that an established and innovative company like SmartLam intends to grow its operations into Maine speaks to the immense economic potential of the region. This facility will provide a new source of good jobs in rural Maine and provide a major boost to local economies.”
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is an emerging wood technology that can be used in major construction projects. While wood products have been an integral part of construction for centuries, most wood buildings do not exceed three to four stories in height. However, with recent developments in CLT and wood products engineering, alongside other new technologies, it is now possible to use wood to construct taller structures.
The SmartLam facility is expected to cost approximately $22 million and will be funded in part by a $3 million grant from the Maine Technology Institute (MTI). A site for the facility will be chosen in the coming months.
The announcement builds on the strategies outlined by the Economic Development Assessment Team – originally requested in March 2016 by Senators Collins and King – which brought together local, state, federal, and industry partners to work together to build a bottom-up strategy to foster innovation and commercialization for the future of Maine’s forest-based economy. Through their work in the Senate, Senators Collins and King have been staunch advocates for Maine’s forest products industry. They are both original cosponsors of the Timber Innovation Act, bipartisan legislation that aims to support the forest products industry by incentivizing investment through the National Forest Products Lab and American colleges and universities to conduct research on new methods for the construction of wood buildings.