SPI invests in Quincy - Plans underway to build state-of-the art mill

Debra Moore
Staff Writer


Sierra Pacific Industries is making a $10 million-plus investment in Quincy, with plans to tear down the large-log mill and build a state-of-the-art facility in its place. Photo by Kevin Mallory

“The mill is outdated and inefficient,” said company spokesman Mark Pawlicki during an interview Sept. 26. “We need to improve it. The new mill will be more efficient and have a better layout.”

When asked if more efficient translated into fewer employees, Pawlicki said, “No. We will still have the same number of employees.”

In this case, more efficient means more output.

If the project goes according to plan, the old mill will be torn down after the current log deck is processed. Pawlicki estimates that will occur in mid to late February and is anticipating it will take eight to 10 months to build the new mill.

Forty-nine people work at the large-log mill, and four of those employees, in maintenance positions, will transfer to the small-log sawmill.

The remaining 45 production workers will help in the demolition and construction. 

The company hopes to avoid layoffs during the process. 

“We are going to do our best to keep the crew employed,” Pawlicki said.

Plant Manager Chris Skinner said that his employees were concerned about being laid off, but are excited about the long-term prospects.

“This investment says ‘We are really here to stay,’’ Skinner said of the new plant. “There’s a long history of Sierra Pacific Industries in Quincy and there’s a long future.”

Skinner said that in addition to the long-term promise of jobs for the area, there would be an influx of people coming into town to help with the project. 

“They’ll be staying in the motels or mobile home parks and eating in the restaurants,” Skinner said. 

In addition to specialists coming in from out of town, such as computer technicians,  Skinner said there would be work for locals as well. 

“This will bring money into the community and we will try to do what we can locally,” he said.

Plumas County Supervisor Lori Simpson said, “It’s fantastic news for the community. I really appreciate the efforts of Sierra Pacific Industries to support us in Plumas County.”

Simpson made her comments as she prepared to attend the Sept. 26 meeting of the Quincy Library Group, the local organization dedicated to maintaining healthy ecosystems and the economy by thinning the forests.

“I will do all I can to help with forest management practices so Sierra Pacific Industries’ investment is well-utilized,” Simpson said. 

She added that in light of the number of mills that have closed across the north state, the fact that Sierra Pacific is investing locally for the long term is exciting news. 

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