Live Oak —
Construction is at full speed on Klausner’s state of the art sawmill operation located at the catalyst in Northwestern Suwannee County. County Administrator Randy Harris gave a tour of the catalyst site Thursday afternoon to a handful of folks from the business and civic community.
Currently, about 300 construction workers are on the Klausner site on any given day steadily building the kilns, support buildings and main building, which will be where the sawing will take place. Harris said once operations begin, it will be a 48 hour turn around time from tree harvest to the final wood product being shipped out at port.
Klausner was initially hoping to begin some operation of the mill by the end of July, however, that does not seem to be panning out. Klausner’s plan is to run 24-7, three shifts with about 350 employees at full operation.
Meanwhile, interviews have begun this week for a few of the positions currently available. A Florida Ready to Work Certificate is required for all positions, according to Diane Head of Career Source North Florida. Response to open jobs for the site has been high, Head said, with 569 referrals to positions with the company so far. Some of those may be duplicative persons, however, as some job seekers apply for more than one position.
“Klausner’s presence is a huge economic boost for our region,” said Head. “They join great employers who have established roots in the area, and together they are assisting the region in growing out of the recession. Other employers and industries will gain economically from the ripple effect of having Klausner in the community.”
According to Harris, several companies have expressed interest in co-locating at the catalyst with Klausner. Businesses such as pellet companies to be used for alternative energy, furniture making companies, and others have begun a dialogue with the county, but no firm commitments so far.