Arauco: More proof that Michigan is the manufacturing powerhouse

By: Anna Heaton, Press Secretary

The only photo I’ve ever taken which features predominantly lefties

Imagine this — a particle board press longer than a football field. Can’t picture it because you don’t know what that is? Neither did I until Wednesday.

A new particle board mill has not been built in 18 years on this continent due to declining demand, as furniture manufacturing moved overseas.

Arauco North America is changing that, with the establishment of a brand-new particle board production facility along 4 Mile Road in Grayling, right off I-75. The project is expected to create 700 construction jobs and at least 200 permanent jobs for area residents.

A beautiful Pure Michigan day to break ground in Grayling

Gov. Snyder attended the groundbreaking ceremony at the new Arauco site on Wednesday, April 12.

The site selection for Arauco was years in the making, with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development involved at the state level, as well as many local officials, businesses and residents involved in the sales pitch.

“It’s exciting to see Arauco put down roots in Northern Michigan and be part of our state’s continued comeback. Michigan offers the skilled talent and economic climate for an employer of this size to succeed, and we greatly appreciate Arauco’s investment here and recognize the positive impact it will have for decades to come in the Grayling community.” -Gov. Rick Snyder
Gov. Snyder talks with Gonzalo Zegers, Senior VP International of Arauco

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Arauco executives spoke extensively about how helpful state officials were in responding to their many questions for information about everything ranging from climate to the local workforce. From day one, they were welcomed by Michigan and they said that attitude and culture were a major factor in making their final location decision.

Arauco uses sustainable forestry practices, with its fiber supply coming from nearby sawmill residues, by-products of logging operations and low-grade wood currently left in the forest or burned for energy.

This is manufacturing at its best — sustainable and bringing new jobs and industry to a smaller community that will be transformed by a new employer.

Sauder and IKEA are two of Arauco’s largest customers, so someday soon you may have your feet up on a coffee table that was born in Northern Michigan.

The establishment of this new plant is more proof that if you’re going to manufacture something, Michigan is the place to be.

Example of a continuous particle board press. The one in Grayling will be 170 feet long!

PS — Did you know: Grayling is a Project Rising Tide community, launched by Gov. Snyder in 2015?