GLADSTONE – Gov. Rick Snyder said the timber industry in Michigan is growing at a faster rate than expected. He was at Besse Forest Products in Gladstone yesterday to announce that they have achieved four of five goals set at a Forest Product Summit in 2013.
Synder said the first goal of making the forest products industry a $20 billion industry in Michigan was met in three years instead of five.
“Another key goal was employment in this industry. The goal we had was to grow 10 percent over the five year period. We’re at 12 percent already after three years. We have over 38,000 people in the state of Michigan working in this industry. That’s incredible,” Snyder said.
Snyder told the group that the forest products industry was always important in Michigan but he says it never got the attention in the state that it deserved.
The remaining goal, he says, is to boost exports. We want to increase exports by 50 percent. We’re still going to get there. It may take five years. That’s why you do a five year plan,” he said.
“The only one we didn’t have – and we had issues with commodities prices – was our export goal.
Snyder also recognized Besse for its 50 years in business with a special resolution.