To aid GO Virginia’s goal of supporting Virginia growth industries, and at the request of Region 3’s Council, GENEDGE and RTI International just completed a research study on High Value Wood Products (HVWP). The study outlines strategies for optimizing the economic impact of the wood products in Region 3’s rich forestry cluster.
The study identified the following three key needs:
- Workforce development to sustain current and potential market demands for wood products. This topic remains true throughout the supply chain, from harvesters to sawmills and manufacturers.
- Higher value applications for current wood waste. This could include additional manufacturing jobs through biofuels, as well as having the region further investigate long-term market drivers such as the biochemical sector.
- Further entry into structural engineered wood products currently experiencing a growing market demand, like cross-laminated timber (CLT) and thermally modified wood products (TMW). This could mean identifying sites that would be perfect for manufacturing these wood products.
Overall, the wood industry needs continued strategic investment in opportunities based on developing market demand. This study recommends regional economic development collaboration with the Virginia Department of Forestry, which is currently initiating a multi-year statewide market opportunity and prospect investigation, and Virginia Tech, which is the Commonwealth’s higher education resource for this sector.
You can read the full report, here.