Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

March 2, 2011

Somerset Wood Products to expand Crossville facility

Expansion will bring 25 new jobs right away, 125 jobs over next two years


CROSSVILLE — One of the nation's leading manufacturers of hardwood flooring, Somerset Wood Products, based in Somerset, KY, is expanding its Crossville Hardwoods facility.

President Stephen D. Merrick announced last week his company will expand the Crossville facility in order to meet the growing customer demands of its hardwood flooring products. The flooring product to be manufactured in Crossville has already grown into a significant part of the company's overall sales and should continue to grow with the new investment in the Crossville operation.

Merrick said, "The Crossville expansion will enable us to meet our customers' growing product needs, make more efficient use of our facilities and the available work force and keep jobs at home in the U.S."

Somerset Wood Products was established in 1985 with one facility in Burnside, KY. The company started manufacturing hardwood flooring in 1990 and currently has more than 600 employees with manufacturing operations in Burnside, KY; Somerset, KY; Munfordvills, KY; and Crossville.

The company purchased the Crossville facility in 2008 and has continued key parts of the operation to augment its existing product lines. To meet market shifts and general demand, Somerset Wood Products is currently investing in the facility to attain the ability to produce a specialized hardwood flooring product. The investment spans the production process, from lumber drying to lamination through milling to the finishing process.

The production of the new product line will add 25 new jobs immediately with a goal of 125 new employees within two years, as the market permits.

"Governor Haslam's primary goal is to make Tennessee the no. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs, and it speaks volumes for our state when existing companies continue to invest and create new jobs in Tennessee," said Bill Hargety, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. "I am grateful for Somerset Wood Products' confidence in Tennessee workers and congratulate them on their expansion."

Crossville Mayor J.H. Graham III said, "As mayor of Crossville and representing the Crossville City Council, I take great pleasure in welcoming the plant expansion of Crossville Hardwood. The management of this company is to be congratulated in choosing Crossville and along with the Cumberland County Commission, our council will take any and all steps necessary to make this company as strong and sound as their existing plant in Somerset, KY. We look forward to working together to make our community a better place to live and work."

Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr. added, "We appreciate Somerset Wood Products investing in our residents and our community. I trust this will be a long-term partnership as Somerset Wood Products is the type of family company we seek as a community partner."