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Structures for More Structures

   Yet another Columbus project was announced earlier this year by Quebec-based ICForm, Inc., which is building a $16-million, 100-job plant for the making of its NUDURA insulated concrete forms for the construction industry. Company leaders cited the location as the best from which to serve the Southeast market with same-day and next-day service, and its proximity to both hurricane territory and multiple ports servicing the Caribbean and Europe.
   "We had increasing freight costs and a necessity for the insulated concrete form market to be able to have same day pick up and next day delivery service," said Francois Beau. According to the company's EDGE award grant, Georgia competed with Utah and Alabama for the project.
   In Savannah, prior to its acquisition by Koch Industries, Georgia-Pacific Corp. announced it is investing more than $100 million for the expansion of its gypsum facility, located on the opposite side of city from the Port of Savannah complex. The project will more than double production of the company's ToughRock and Dens product lines.
   Company spokesperson Robin Keegan says since the company already had enough land for the addition, no other site was ever in play for the expansion. In addition, like the ICForm project, it's an ideal access point for reaching markets in Florida and the Carolinas. The company currently operates 18 wallboard plants in the U.S., and 24 overall facilities in Georgia alone.
   Tolleson Lumber Co., located in Webster County since its founding in 1947, will use state funds and private capital to fund an $11.3-million rail spur and road improvements to accommodate the company's Preston Mill expansion.
   Canada-based Norbord announced in June it is investing $135 million into a 75-job doubling of its oriented strand board (OSB) plant footprint in Cordele. In a speech later that week to a group of diplomatic, government and business leaders at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Frank McKenna said as many as 152,000 jobs in Georgia are supported by Canadian trade.
   "Expansion of the Cordele mill is consistent with our plan to continue growing our North American OSB business, particularly in the U.S. South where new housing construction is robust," said Norbord President and CEO Barrie Shineton in April, when his board of directors first approved the project pending permitting. "In addition, the low-cost position, experienced work force and proven technology already in place at Cordele will ensure a fast start up with relatively low risk."
   He predicts that 200 additional jobs will be created by others in the region as a result of the Norbord expansion.
   Applewood Doors and Windows is investing $7 million in its manufacturing and retail facilities, adding 23 jobs at the manufacturing plant in Blairsville and 10 to the retail operation in Ellijay. The company had considered moving to North Carolina, and was helped by state funds to support the construction of a 113,400-sq.-ft. (10,535-sq.-m.) facility at the Blairsville Airport Regional Industrial Park, just a few miles from the North Carolina state line.
   In Cairo, commercial steel truss maker United Structures is investing $4 million and hiring 50 employees. MacTavish Furniture Industries and Seminole Marine have also recently announced expansions in the area, with the three projects adding 220 new jobs in all.
   In Calhoun, laminate flooring maker Faus Group is hiring up to 350 people to man a manufacturing and distribution complex to be installed in existing buildings on a newly purchased 78-acre (32-hectare) site adjacent to I-75.

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