NORTH TROY â€“ Owners of Appalachian Flooring are not letting a bleak economy prevent them from moving forward. Earlier this year, the Cowansville, QC, company opened a second plant in North Troy.
Workers at the North Troy factory, known as Appalachian Engineered Flooring, produce engineered hardwood for concrete slabs. Workers at the Cowansville plant produce flooring for unfinished plywood.
Last fall the Vermont Economic Development Authority gave the company a low interest loan to buy some equipment for the North Troy plant. Some of the equipment is already at the plant, but more will arrive next week.
â€śAfter that, we will be complete for a while,â€ť said company president Jean Leduc.
The company has about a dozen full-time employees working at the North Troy plant and 110 employees at the Cowansville plant. Leduc said the company is still looking to hire good workers who want to learn a trade.
â€śWe welcome mechanics, welders and people who want to learn a trade in the wood industry,â€ť said Leduc. The company has no plans to expand beyond the wood floor industry. â€śWeâ€™re good at it; we want to continue to improve and expand.â€ť
The company is looking to hire around three or four additional employees. It produces 5,000 square feet of flooring a day and the equipment can produce three times that amount.
â€śWeâ€™ll increase production as far as we can train people,â€ť said Leduc.
Appalachian Engineered Flooring sells products to distributors throughout North America; the distributors sell the products to specialized retailers. The closest distributors are in Boston and Albany, N.Y. The company does not sell directly to the consumer or Home Depot-type stores.
Leduc said things are going well for the company. He said it has a small plant and workers produce a high quality product thatâ€™s reasonably priced. It also has good service.
â€śThatâ€™s how we survived for the past 12 years and thatâ€™s how we intend to do it at North Troy,â€ť he said.
Appalachian Engineered Flooring uses red oak, white oak, hard maple and black walnut. Most of the wood comes from New England, New York State, and some from Ohio.