Wilson Lumber Opening New Truss Plant in Nashville

Originally published by: The TennesseeanNovember 26, 2018

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Westmoreland is about to get its largest employer, paying well above minimum wage, thanks to an expansion of Alabama-based Wilson Lumber Company.

"This is definitely going to allow Westmoreland to be more self-sustaining," said Andy Leath, chairman of the Westmoreland Industrial Development Board.

Wilson Lumber signed a lease for the 30,000-square-foot space in the Westmoreland Business Center, formerly the Westmoreland Expo Center at 4011 Fleetwood Drive. The company intends to launch a portion of the business in February 2019. 

"This announcement is an incredible opportunity for our city, and I believe it is the biggest jobs announcement in the last 25 years," Mayor Jerry Kirkman said in a news release. "The future is bright for Westmoreland."

A long road to get here, a long road ahead

The board has wanted to promote this space to a business for five years after determining the expo center was not the best use for the space, Leath said.

Last year, the board received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to build a fire wall in the building, which was the final hurdle. 

A 70-year-old family-owned company, Wilson Lumber expects to bring 40 jobs to the Westmoreland site and a capital investment in the millions, according to the news release. The space will be used as a roof truss facility, which will help the company grow and serve Tennessee's construction market.

"Our corporate culture fits perfectly with the Westmoreland business-friendly and family-first culture, and we look forward to putting local residents to work in their hometown and being the employer of their choice," Robb Wilson, President/CEO of Wilson Lumber, said in a prepared statement. 

Forward Sumner Economic Partnership was instrumental in connecting the community with the company.

Just the beginning

This expansion is a major boost to Westmoreland's economy, which is still struggling after two Fleetwood Homes factories, which together employed 600 people, shut down in the early 2000s.

Leath hopes more companies see Westmoreland as a place to expand. 

"We haven't even gotten back to where we were when Fleetwood was in business," Leath said. "This is the beginning. This is very good progress."

The board and Wilson Lumber hope to have a formal celebration of the expansion in late December.