Ecoshel plans to create 78 new jobs at its patented cedar-shingle manufacturing facility in Ashland, Maine. Occupying and possibly expanding the former Levesque Sawmill, Ecoshel’s long-range plans include the operation of up to 10 production lines, which could boost employment to 300 people. At the start of operation with a single production line, an estimated 150 additional indirect jobs will be created.
Over the last two years, Ecoshel has been in beta production of their Smart-Shingle System, premium cedar shingle panels for roofing and siding, at a facility in Gainesville, Ga. The company decided to build its permanent manufacturing facility in Maine to be closer an abundant source of northern white cedar and its proximity to the nation’s largest cedar shingle markets in New England, Ecoshel CEO Kirkey said. In addition to processing northern white cedar, Ecoshel will import western red cedar from the Pacific Northwest.
"When we made the decision to set up an advanced manufacturing system in Maine, I contacted Commissioner Gervais and Rosaire Pelletier of the Maine DECD to see if they could help,” said Kirkey. “I'm very thankful for how hard they have worked to make this possible, and for all of the well-run, well-designed programs that businesses need to grow and create jobs, especially in this economy."
The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development expedited a Maine Rural Development Authority loan for the company. It also connected Ecoshel with the Maine Technology Institute, Community Development Block Grant program, and Finance Authority of Maine.
Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner George Gervais said, “Ecoshel’s President and CEO Bryan Kirkey has made a commitment to this state by literally trucking his production equipment to this site over the last week. Once set up, Ecoshel will be well situated to tap into the shingle siding demand that is the greatest right here in New England.”
“The Ashland area has experienced numerous mill closings over the past several years resulting in the loss of over two hundred direct jobs,” said Ashland Town Manager Ralph Dwyer. “Ecoshel will be a welcomed addition to Ashland and a boon to the local economy. The Town of Ashland is looking forward to working with Ecoshel.”