UMaine mentioned in media reports of CLT firm expanding to Maine

The Bangor Daily News, WABI (Channel 5) and Woodworking Network reported the nation’s first manufacturer of cross-laminated timber plans to set up shop in Maine, with a goal of creating 100 jobs at a $22 million mill. SmartLam, LLC of Montana still seeks a mill site, but has committed to building a factory in Maine within 18 months, the BDN reported. SmartLam is the second maker of CLT, a composite wood strong enough to replace steel and concrete in some types of high-rise buildings, to announce Maine expansion plans this week, the BDN article states. SmartLam president Casey Malmquist said the company has a four-year relationship with the University of Maine that will help it find new applications of CLT and develop a workforce capable of using it. “Their relationship with the University of Maine has been critical as part of their choice to select Maine for their next operation,” Ashley Pringle, vice president of operations at Maine and Company, a nonprofit business development agency that worked with SmartLam, told WABI. Maine Public carried the BDN report. WABI (Channel 5) also spoke with UMaine program directors for a report about the CLT businesses coming to Maine. Stephen Shaler, director of UMaine’s School of Forest Resources, said the businesses will help create jobs as well as value-added products. Russell Edgar, a senior laboratory operations manager and wood composites manager at UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, said UMaine will support both companies. The Portland Press Herald also mentioned the UMaine Composites Center in an editorial about the firms expanding to Maine.