Rotary club attends tour of Weyerhauser mill

From left to right, Rotary Club president Mary Dean, Conor Dean and Rotarian Jody Light of the Rotary Club listen to the tour guide at Weyerhaeuser mill

BUCKHANNON—The Buckhannon Rotary club went off site for their weekly Tuesday meeting.

Members were given the opportunity to tour the timber, land and forest products company Weyerhaeuser.

Unit General Manager for Weyerhaeuser Lance Miller joined the Rotary Club in the conference room before their tour and detailed what they would be seeing. Miller said the Buckhannon location for Weyerhaeuser has 110 or 112 acres and overall owns 13 million acres and all of their timberlands are certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative in order to protect their land and lumber.Miller detailed the different variations of mills Weyerhaeuser owns and operates and said the Buckhannon mill is specifically an engineered lumber products mill.

“To me the processes our lumber goes through here is one of the neatest processes and that’s how I wound up here,” Miller said.

The Weyerhaeuser mill is known for making two products that Miller explained involved taking a tree from the forest and making it stronger than it was.

“Now I know you might be wondering how that actually works,” Miller said. “But that’s what we’re going to show you on the tour today.”

Miller brought examples of the products the Buckhannon mill produces and explained how they are a uniquely a Weyerhaeuser product.

“The first example I wanted to show you is a header beam called Microllam and we were the first to make this product and even though other companies have started to produce this product,” Miller said. “We think we have the Cadillac.”

Microllam could be used for window openings and garage headers, but it was a versatile product. The second example Miller brought out was called Parallam.

“We are the only people who make this product where we take what would usually be considered waste and turn it into a quality product.”

Parallam is used to make long clear spans and support heavy loads and it was designed to withstand the elements, so it could be inside or outside. Miller said the Buckhannon mill works with a tree called yellow popper and that is what all the products are made of. Human Resources Manager at Weyerhaeuser Josh Hamilton also explained how the mill was a benefit to Buckhannon because of the jobs and careers offered at the mill.

“We manage performance in a way that everyone has a goal and everyone is moving in a new direction,” Hamilton said.

He wanted the Buckhannon area employees to have similar success to other Weyerhaeuser mills, when it comes to tenure.

“The people also grow with Weyerhaeuser, there are individuals from mills that have been here for 40 and 50 year anniversaries and that’s what we want to see in this area.”

He said the average tenure at the Buckhannon location is about 10 years.

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