The Wyoming Workforce Development Council has awarded a grant to Saratoga Forest Management to train new workers at a once-defunct sawmill they’re reopening.
The Saratoga Sawmill closed down years ago, along with many other sawmills in the Rocky Mountain region, due to low timber prices and inconsistent supply, among other factors. The closing of the Saratoga Sawmill hit the Saratoga and Encampment job markets hard.
Workforce Development Councilman Leonard Scoleri says the $50,000 grant comes from federal Workforce Investment Act funding and will cover training for 22 workers at the new company.
“It’s a shot in the arm. And some of these people, the pay scale’s gonna be pretty good, some of them up to $22 an hour,” Scoleri says.
He adds that now seems like a good time to re-open the saw mill.
“Now we have a tremendous amount of beetle kill, as we’re all aware of, in the mountains of southeast Wyoming. And this is a great way for us to harvest that resource and put it to good economic use.”
Scoleri says the new mill could lead to the creation of up to 200 jobs in Carbon County.