Castleberry mill closes

Published 8:23 am Wednesday, March 18, 2009

By By Lisa Tindell
news editor

Just a week after announcing the lay-off of 73 employees at the Castleberry location of the iLevel veneer mill, another 96 employees were left unemployed.
Weyerhaeuser Company announced the closing of its iLevel veneer and engineered wood mill in Castleberry last week. Along with the Castleberry mill, the company closed the iLevel mills in Dodson and Simsboro, La., and its TimberStrand mill in Chavies, Ky. The company also announced the permanent closure of iLevel service centers in Albuquerque, N.M.; Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; and Las Vegas and Reno, Nev. The announcement will affect approximately 480 employees at nine locations.
Nancy Thompson, spokesman for Weyerhaeuser, said the closing was announced in response to current economic trends in the industry.
Thompson said the mill will “phase out” over the coming weeks with many employees released last week. Other employees will be released as their jobs phase out.
Tom Gideon, executive vice present of Forest Products, said the demand for wood products has declined due the slump in the housing industry causing the decision to close certain divisions of the company to be made.
Related to the closure of the five service centers, the company will continue to operate its 26 other building materials distribution sites. These service centers sell products including lumber, plywood, oriented strand board, engineered wood products, exterior siding, cedar and appearance wood products, insulation and other specialty building products to dealers and home improvement retailers.
Weyerhaeuser will supply customers with products from its other iLevel facilities. The company will support affected employees with transition benefits.