EACOM Timber Corporation is happy to share that its Ear Falls sawmill in Northwestern Ontario will be increasing its hours of operation to 100 hours per week. Building on the mill’s good performance and strong demand for its products, a new shift of 8 workers will be hired with the goal of increasing lumber production by 31,000,000 foot board measure (FBM) per year.
Fueled by favorable market conditions, strong prices, and increased home building in North America, the mill has been steadily raising its production. Originally built in 1998, it has gone through some periods of instability and was even closed down in 2009 due to the Great Recession. After it was acquired by EACOM, the company made a multi-million-dollar commitment to optimize and upgrade production equipment and electrical systems. The Ear Falls sawmill was officially re-started on October 9th, 2013 and has been flourishing since.
Today, the facility employs over 150 people, roughly 20% of whom are women – a relatively high proportion for the traditionally male industry. Much of the labour force is based locally, providing economic stability to the region.
“We’re located in a beautiful, scenic area of Northwestern Ontario known for great fishing. That has helped us attract additional workers from all over Canada, as far away as New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Alberta to complement our growing team” said Gilles Plante, Mill Manager at Ear Falls.
The mill will be increasing its consumption to 13,800 m3 of spruce, pine and balsam logs from the current 11,800 m3 it receives. The logs are supplied by twelve harvesting crews the mill has partnered with. Local operations are certified to the Sustainable Forest Initiative’s (SFI) Fibre Sourcing and Chain of Custody Standards, attesting to the crews’ responsible and sustainable practices.
“We’re very proud of the team we’ve built here, both by hiring local and attracting workers from across the country. I’m confident they’ll deliver the increase in timber that we need to support the new shift” explained David Veitch, Woodlands Manager at Ear Falls.
Being a good corporate citizen in the communities in which it operates is a priority at EACOM. Taking this commitment to heart, the management team at Ear Falls has made a point of giving back to the community and contributing whenever possible, from initiatives like the Ear Falls Public school education trip and breakfast program, to sponsoring the Lac Seul Walleye Cup, the Trout Forest Music Festival, and the Ear Falls District Minor Hockey association, to supporting community events like Winterfest, Canada Day, the Christmas Parade, and Family Safety Night.
Furthermore, EACOM builds and maintains roads that are open to the public, facilitating transportation and access to remote areas. The mill works hard to coordinate with forest users and other stakeholders to ensure sustainable, long-term partnerships as it continues its growth.