Northwest veneer mills see improvement

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Friday, May 04, 2012
Boise Cascade's veneer mill in Willamina is an example of the slow comeback of the timber industry.

The company has hired eight people in the past year.

It may sound modest, but plant Superintendent Mike Henderson calls the hirings a "significant pickup." The plant's 50 employees produce thin layers of veneer, which are trucked to Medford and pressed together to make plywood and beams used in housing and other construction. No one is calling it a boom, but a slow rebound from the recession may be unfolding in the decimated wood products industry. That's why the company replaced the retired workers and approved the new hires. 
Industry observers see signs of improvement. While single-family home construction lags, wood products are increasingly used in multi-family projects and multi-story commercial buildings, said Tom Partin, president of the Portland-based American Forest Resource Council, which advocates on behalf of manufacturers. '

Read more at OregonLive.com.

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There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

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