Wood product manufacturing includes the production of millwork, containers and pallets, prefabricated wood structures, and miscellaneous wood products. Mills in Columbia Valley make wood product manufacturing the largest export sector, 2x times larger than the #2 export sector – tourism.
There is opportunity to increase the viability of relying on lumber within the local economy by diversifying the goods and services derived from raw wood. Downstream establishments could produce windows, doors, flooring, wood containers, prefabricated wood buildings, and related products. Mass timber is a distinct market value-added opportunity.
There is potential for a forestry wood fibre innovation that creates local advanced manufacturing opportunities, particularly lignin and nano-cellulose with application in all industries in addition to offering a pathway to replacement of petrochemical chains in industrial processes and outputs. The most pragmatic path in Columbia Valley would require investment in extension of pulp and paper mill capability in Skookumchuck, followed by use of raw fibre material in advanced product manufacturing.
This industry is well supported by the regional labour force given the large labour market in machine operators and related workers in wood processing and manufacturing.
Further opportunities are indicated in the forestry value chain: