West Virginia Department of Commerce Columbia Forest Products

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Columbia Forest Products

Columbia Forest Products

Cross-training in multiple functions creates better job performance

Columbia Forest Products
Project Type:
Location: Nicholas County
Founded in 1957, Columbia Forest Products is North America’s largest manufacturer of hardwood plywood and hardwood veneer, a leader in sustainable forestry and innovator of soybased formaldehyde-free PureBond® technology. Columbia’s decorative veneers and plywood panels are used to build cabinets, furniture, fixtures and millwork in residential and commercial settings.

Replacing urea formaldehyde resins traditionally used in plywood manufacturing with EPA award-winning PureBond technology has allowed Columbia to ship more than 40 million panels that are better for maintaining a healthier indoor air quality. Veneer core hardwood plywood, like that manufactured at the Craigsville, W.Va. plant, is certified to meet the strict California Air Resources Board phase 2 formaldehyde emissions limits. It contributes to many national green building standards, including the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® green building certification system.

Funding from the GGWFP was used for technical training for plant supervisors. This job-specific training gave supervisors task-based instructional skills to aid them in educating employees in the best practices for multiple positions. This initiative will allow workers to be cross-trained in multiple functions and combined positions. This redundancy creates better on-the-job performance and produces workers that can rotate positions within the facility. A better-trained work force will facilitate a safer and more efficient manufacturing process.

Employee-owned and based in Greensboro, North Carolina, Columbia employs more than 2,000 people. The company operates 11 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada with more than 200 employees based in West Virginia.