Columbia Forest Products celebrates its 40th anniversary. Old Fort plant employees participate | Local News

EMMA MATHEWS Special for The McDowell News

Columbia Forest Products celebrated its 40th anniversary in McDowell County on Thursday, September 1 at Historic Carson House’s Jubilee Arbor.

Old Fort mill employees, company management, elected officials and community leaders came together to celebrate 40 years of success in poplar plywood production.

Columbia Forest Products estimates that since 1982, the Old Fort location has produced over 100 million plywood panels that have been shipped across the United States. Approximately 350 people are employed by the Old Fort location, making it one of the largest employers in McDowell County.

In addition to being a major player in the world of plywood production, Columbia Forest Products is proud to give back to its local communities through its “Care Teams”. Columbia Forest Products is also an ESOP, or an employee-owned business.

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State Sense. Ralph Hise and Warren Daniel attended the celebration, along with NC House Rep. Dudley Greene. Also in attendance were Marion Mayor Steve Little, City Council members Ann Harkey and Don Ramsey, and County Commissioners Brenda Vaughn and Patrick Ellis.

Randy Marsh, Columbia Forest Products Old Fort Plant Manager, welcomed the guests and thanked everyone for attending before introducing the Columbia Forest Products staff. Kim Effler, President and CEO of the McDowell Chamber of Commerce, thanked the elected officials and the various guests for their presence. About 75 people came out to show their support.

Columbia Forest Products also recently hosted a party for its employees and their families at Camping World of Marion. They enjoyed the food, games and inflatables and a climbing wall for the kids.

If you or someone you know might be interested in employment with Columbia Forest Products, you can contact Danielle Stilwell at [email protected], or visit the Columbia Forest Products website at

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