by Jack A. Webb,
Friday, February 10th 2023,
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) — State and local officials were on hand Friday to celebrate the opening of a new sawmill in south Arkansas, which is expected to create more than 50 jobs in the area, a news release from Astara Capitol Partners read.
“Astara is proud to invest in American manufacturing companies, and today’s ceremony highlights the wonderful team at Camden Timbers and its special partnership with the state of Arkansas,” said Astara Managing Partner Michael Ranson. “We appreciate the leadership of both Governor Sanders and former Governor Hutchinson, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Arkansas Department of Finance, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Department, the Ouachita Partnership and a whole host of local leaders who helped make this project so successful.”
Astara said Camden Timbers is expecting to produce more than 50 million board feet of timbers and dimensional lumber through its sawmill, kiln, and planer operations.
Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said this facility is what business development should look like in Arkansas.
“This facility is a vision of what business development should look like in our state: government and businesses working hand-in-hand instead of against each other to create jobs, invest capital, and develop the next generation of talent,” said Sanders. “Thank you to the teams at Camden Timbers and Astara Capital Partners for investing right here in Arkansas.”
Arkansas is the heart of the timber basket in the United States which will help Camden Timbers thrive in the region, said Clint O’Neal, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.
“We are thrilled that Astara is investing in Arkansas with the launch of Camden Timbers,” O’Neal said. “Arkansas is the heart of the timber basket in the United States, offering abundant natural resources and a strong industry workforce. These competitive advantages will help Camden Timbers thrive and meet the needs of its customers.”
James Lee Silliman, executive director of the Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development, said he is excited about the jobs being added in Camden and investment this sawmill is bringing to the community.
“Our community welcomes Camden Timbers in restarting the former Victory Lumber mill,” said Silliman. “This facility will provide jobs and investment in our community and will greatly benefit the timber economy of south Arkansas.”
Camden Mayor Charlotte Young said she welcomes the expansion of the business to their great city.
“Today’s announcement by Camden Timbers is exciting for our community,” said Young. “The timber and forestry industry plays a vital role in our local community. Camden is a natural fit for business investment, and we are excited to welcome Camden Timbers to our great city.”
Even the county judge got involved and thanked Astara and Camden Timbers for believing in Ouachita County.
“Ouachita County is extremely proud that Astara Capital Partners and Camden Timbers have chosen our community to invest in the future,” said Ouachita County Judge Robert A. McAdoo. “Their addition will increase workforce and prosper economic development in many avenues. As County Judge, I would like to say, ‘thank you’ for believing in Ouachita County and the revitalization of the Victory Sawmill.”