The official reopening of the Omak Wood Products mill comes as welcome news for Okanogan County.
This business will help revitalize the area’s economy, not just by providing a significant number of jobs at the plywood and veneer plant, but also in logging, shipping and dozens of other avenues that the manufacturing industry will lead into. The increased cash flow into the area will also benefit local shops, restaurants and the housing market.
For an area that has been economically depressed for a while, the reopening brings hope for better times
The mill currently has 87 employees. That number is expected to jump to around 100 by the end of the year as the plywood operation gets under way, in addition to the veneer production, which has already begun.
By the time the mill hits full production, officials expect to employ somewhere around 200 people, with most jobs being filled by local workers.
Some economists have said that for every job created in manufacturing, four or five are created in other sectors in the region.
That could equate to 1,000 jobs created from March 2013 to about the same time in 2014.
Colville Tribal Federal Corp. board member Gene Nicholson joked that the governor visiting Okanogan County has tyrpically meant something bad has happened.
But with Gov. Jay Inslee taking time to attend the mill’s grand opening on Monday, Nicholson said this event was quite the opposite.
We cannot agree more.