In 2015, the forest industry continued to grow with almost $900 million in capital investment in new and expanding industry in Alabama.

In a recently released report, the Alabama Department of Commerce announced a total of more than $7 billion in capital investments in new and expanding industry last year, with more than 12 percent of that amount generated by forestry companies doing business in Alabama.

Ken Muehlenfeld, director of the Alabama Department of Commerce's Forest Products Development Center, said last year’s numbers are impressive both in the aggregate and as they relate to forestry.

“Alabama had a great year in 2015 for new and expanding industry with over $7 billion in new capital investment,” Muehlenfeld said. “The forest products industry had its best year since the recession with nearly $900 million invested in the state, continuing a 7-year upward trend.”

AFA Executive Vice President Chris Isaacson said the gains in 2015 shows the resilience of forestry companies which were hit especially hard by the recession that started several years ago with the collapse of the housing market.

“These numbers demonstrate the importance of the forest industry to our state. Since 2010, forest products companies have invested $2.4 billion in Alabama creating almost 6,000 direct jobs,” Isaacson said. “When you include the additional 12,000 support jobs created as a result of these investments, it’s evident that forestry is one of the main engines driving Alabama’s economy.”

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