British Columbia Government Invests $9.5M in Canadian Truss Company

Industry News,

Originally Published by: Woodworking Network — April 14, 2024
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The Province is partnering with forestry manufacturers to build a strong forest-products sector and support good jobs in B.C. through significant capital expansion in their operations.

Since 1983, A1 Trusses Ltd. has been building wood trusses for contractors and residents of the Vancouver Lower Mainland area. Photo By A-1 Trusses

“While workers and businesses in the forest sector have faced significant challenges over the past few years, there are tremendous opportunities out there in producing made-in-B.C. sustainable forest products,” said Premier David Eby. “That’s why our government is working together with the sector to help them transition to high-value product lines that make the best use of every tree harvested, while creating and protecting good, family-supporting jobs. These investments are a blueprint for the stronger, cleaner economic future we’re building here in British Columbia.”

Through the $180-million BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund (BCMJF), the Province has committed as much as $70.3 million to forest-sector transition and diversification across 50 projects, which will create and sustain more than 2,500 jobs. Investments are focused on boosting high-quality, made-in-B.C. wood-product lines that create more sustainable jobs for every tree harvested.

The advanced wood manufacturing projects receiving BCMJF funding represent more than $334 million in total capital investment within B.C.’s forest industry, reflecting diverse aspects of the intricately connected sector, including the production of new made-in-B.C. wood products, processed waste-wood residuals, and biofuels. Many BCMJF investments will help meet the significant domestic and international demand, particularly in the homebuilding and construction industries, for engineered wood products, such as mass timber, panels, and composite lumber.

A-1 Trusses Ltd., a Surrey-based company that manufactures wood trusses and engineered wood products for residential and commercial construction, is maximizing the opportunity to meet demand in this growth sector.

“This injection fuels our commitment to innovation as we diversify our product line to include prefab floor and wall systems,” said Gary Khera, president, A-1 Trusses Ltd. “It also aligns with our mission of building a sustainable Canada for the next century.”

Through the BCMJF, the Government of B.C. is contributing as much as $9.5 million to A-1 Trusses’ significant expansion that will create 125 jobs as the company diversifies its product offerings to include prefabricated wall panels and floor cassettes. A-1’s expanded operations will minimize waste and help meet the demand within the local housing market for off-site building components, which aligns with the Province’s BC Builds commitment to lower construction costs, speed up timelines and deliver more affordable homes to B.C. residents.

Support for wood-product manufacturing throughout B.C. is an ongoing focus of the BCMJF, and the investments being made by the forestry sector are a strong signal of an industry in the process of transitioning, stabilizing and growing.

Funding through the BCMJF is part of a series of programs the Province has introduced to support sustainability in B.C.’s forestry sector. In January 2023, the Ministry of Forests introduced a new program to establish a dedicated fiber supply for small and medium-sized manufacturers, and to increase the flow of fiber and find ways to expand local production of high-value wood products. A strong made-in-B.C. wood-manufacturing industry diversifies the forestry sector, creating new jobs and protecting existing jobs while buffering against global market challenges.