October 2010

Rex Lumber, Brookhaven, LLC

THE PROJECT

In October 2010, AMCREF Community Capital (AMCREF), provided $13 million of NMTC financing to Rex Lumber, Brookhaven, LLC (Rex), an 84-year-old, family owned and operated lumber company renovating a closed lumber mill. Located in a highly-distressed non-metropolitan census tract in Brookhaven, Mississippi, the state-of-the-art Southern Yellow Pine lumber-manufacturing facility introduced sustainable forestry practices to their supply chain, by implementing efficiency improvements that reduce emissions by 40% and increase yield-per-tree to industry-leading levels. In September 2009, the previous mill owner was forced by their bank to close the mill due to financial losses as a result of processing inefficiencies. This had a significant adverse affect on this small, non-metro community and resulted in the loss of 150 jobs. The new, majority women owners have a history of purchasing inefficient mills and returning them to profitable operations.

COMMUNITY IMPACT

  • Job Creation and Support:¬†The new mill created approximately 305 direct FTEs, including 110 FTEs at the facility and 195 FTEs in the lumber and transportation industries, and 392 construction jobs. Rex pays employees competitive wages (well above the local living wage), offers full benefit packages and provides job training programs.
  • Sustainable Business Practices: The state-of-the art facility incorporates efficiency improvements, including a progressive kiln and optimization technology, that reduce harmful emissions by approximately¬†40%, improve production efficiency and increase lumber yields-per-tree when compared to traditional lumber manufacturing facilities.
  • Economic Impact:¬†Reopening the lumber mill generated substantial economic benefits for the community and helped create local economic growth in the surrounding non-metro LICs.
  • Catalytic Effects: Rex is one of the most efficient lumber mills in the U.S. and stands as a model for other mills looking to increase efficiency, lower costs and reduce harmful emissions.