The production of cross-laminated timber, or CLT, has the potential to create significant job growth in the Pacific Northwest, according to a study published in July 2017 by Oregon BEST, a Portland-based nonprofit.
CLT is made of layers of glued 2-inch-thick dimensional wood crossing over each other at a 90-degree angle, creating a strong panel that can be used in tall buildings.
The 110-page study, “Advanced Wood Product Manufacturing Study for Cross-Laminated Timber Acceleration in Oregon and SW Washington,” was funded by $120,000 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
The study included wood products companies from across the region, including D.R. Johnson in Riddle, the first structurally certified CLT producer in the U.S.
Valerie Johnson, president of D.R. Johnson, said she agrees with the study that cross-laminated timber will increase employment for rural areas in Oregon like Douglas County.
D.R. Johnson started its first glued-laminated timber, or glulam, plant in 1967 in Riddle, and began producing cross-laminated timber in fall 2015.
“The community is part of the fabric of this company. It’s not only where our employees live it’s where our families have grown up and continue to live, and making this a successful venture is really important to us,” Johnson said. “We’re giving it all we can because we really want it to be successful.”