More good news on jobs

Published 9:02 am Friday, December 2, 2011

Good economic news — so needed and deserved in Western Tidewater — just keeps coming.

A few weeks after the announcement of a coffee processing and distribution facility in Windsor, Enviva said Wednesday that it will build a wood-pellet mill in Southampton County, creating 65 permanent jobs and hundreds of short-term construction jobs.

As important, the mill will contribute significantly to the county’s tax base, reducing the growing pressure on homeowners and existing businesses to adequately fund county services.

Wood-pellet manufacturing is a perfect industrial fit for Western Tidewater, whose wood basket is plentiful. The mill will create a new market for landowners and will provide work for the local logging industry, which was hit hard by the closure of International Paper Co.’s Franklin mill.

Many people and organizations worked hard to bring the Enviva project to fruition. The Southampton County Board of Supervisors and Franklin-Southampton Economic Development deserve special credit for their efforts. Nice incentives from Gov. Bob McDonnell and his economic-development team helped the cause.

With the mill set to come back to life next year as a fluff pulp facility, economic momentum in the area is real. May the good news on job creation keep coming.