Dragon Woodland reopens Helena-West Helena sawmill; company investing $10M, creating 75 new jobsApril 25, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Brandi Hinkle, MBA, APR
AEDC Director of Communications
Dragon Woodland reopens Helena-West Helena sawmill
Company investing $10M, creating 75 new jobs
Dragon Woodland Sawmill held a grand opening today at its 120-acre sawmill in Helena-West Helena, purchased in April 2018.
“Our company has a reputation for being professional, reliable and efficient,” said Operating Manager Shane Martin, “and when looking to expand, we found that Helena-West Helena was rich with abundant resources – both natural and human – that would continue to build on that legacy.”
Dragon Woodland purchased the former “Chicago” mill and has since invested $10 million in rebuilding the facility and purchasing new equipment. At peak production, the former mill employed more than 1,500 workers during World War II to build crates to ship munitions overseas. Dragon Woodland Sawmill Corporation has expanded the facility and updated equipment, creating approximately 75 new jobs in the Arkansas Delta.
“With nearly 19 million acres of forestland, the rich timber resources in Arkansas make the area attractive for growing companies like Dragon Woodland Sawmill,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson. “We are thrilled to welcome them to the state, where they will find abundant timber they need and some 28,000 workers skilled in the industry.”
Dragon Woodland Sawmill mills mostly red oak, white oak, ash, hickory, gum, poplar, cherry, sycamore and black walnut. In addition to domestic sales, they also export product to China and other Asian countries. Sister companies that support the facility are DragonFly logging and DragonFly trucking, also located in Helena-West Helena.
Along with the purchase of a logging and trucking company, the Helena-West Helena facility has enabled Dragon Woodland Sawmill to double its output capacity. The site will also store and ship materials to other contractors, to include flooring, furniture, and other various wood factories domestically.
“We’re proud to welcome Dragon Woodland Sawmill and applaud its reopening of the sawmill,” said Helena-West Helena Mayor Kevin Smith. “Our hardworking citizens look forward to supporting the company and exemplifying how rich the Delta is in regards to resources and opportunities for growth.”
County Judge Clark Hall said, “The timber industry has a long and proud legacy in Phillips County. We are pleased that Dragon Woodland Sawmill is continuing this tradition with 21st century ideas.”
About Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC)
Created in 1955 to make Arkansas more competitive in the post-World War II era, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) seeks to create economic opportunity by attracting higher-paying jobs, expanding and diversifying local economies in the state, increasing incomes and investment, and generating positive growth throughout The Natural State. Arkansas is a pro-business environment operating leaner, faster and more focused through a streamlined state government designed to act on corporate interests quickly and decisively. Find out more at www.ArkansasEDC.com.
About Dragon Woodland Sawmill
Founded in 2018, the Dragon Woodland Sawmill is the largest producing single-location sawmill in Arkansas. Its mills are capable of producing premium grade red oak, white oak, ash, hickory, gum, poplar, cherry, sycamore and black walnut products. Sister companies that support the facility are DragonFly logging and DragonFly trucking, also located in Helena-West Helena. Dragon Woodland Sawmill stores and ships materials to contractors for flooring, furniture, and other various products. Find out more at dragonwoodland.com.