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Elkins hardwood firm closing March 30

by Nora Edinger

REGIONAL EDITOR

ELKINS -- A Randolph County development official said this week's closing announcement by Elkins Hardwood Dimension Co. is an isolated case.

"We were very sorry to see it happen," said Denver Barnett, executive director of the Randolph County Economic Development Authority. "They were a company that added a lot of value to our wood resource."

Barnett said the county's overall timber industry remains strong, however, and expects little to no domino effect among suppliers.

Andrew Swecker, general manager of the closing company, agreed the closure will have little impact on the prominent county industry, although 75 people will be out of jobs. While the Elkins Hardwood did purchase maple and poplar from county timber sources to make office desk components and other furniture items, he said it was a small amount compared to other industries.

Officials from Miller Desk, Inc. of High Point, N.C., the parent company of Elkins Hardwood, announced the closure on Thursday.

Swecker said the company will continue operating until March 30 and plans to sell it as an ongoing business are under way.

"There's lots of competition but they can't increase their prices," Swecker said of the Miller move to cheaper overseas lumber that caused the shutdown.

Elkins Hardwood was established in 1967.

Regional editor Nora Edinger can be reached at 626-1403 or by e-mail at nedinger@exponent-telegram.com.

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