Treated Wood/Wood Preservation/Wood Processing

Treated Wood / Wood Preservation / Wood Processing

West Plains’ woodworking cluster features several existing industry sectors and a skilled workforce. The combined woodworking posted a 2017 total demand of over $114 million of which 30% was met by imports from outside the region. A subsector of the cluster- Wood Preservation had a total demand over $4 million in 2017 of which only 37% was met by regional business which leaves a potential $2.5 million business opportunity in this targeted sector.

Our Existing Wood Processing Cluster

  • The Master’s Craft Flooring Company
  • Earth Outdoor Manufacturing
  • Armstrong Flooring
  • McClain Forest Products
  • R. P. Lumber
  • Garnett Wood Products

Number of Wood Processing companies

  • 58 Sawmills
  • 20 Logging operations
  • 12 Wood Container and Pallet Manufacturing
  • 10 Wood Kitchen Cabinet and Countertop Manufacturing
  • 8 Cut Stock, Resawing Lumber, and Planin
  • 6 Cyclic Crude, Intermediate, and Gum and Wood Chemical Manufacturing
  • 5 Other Millwork operations (including Flooring)
  • 3 Lumber, Plywood, Millwork, and Wood Panel Merchant Wholesalers
  • 2 Institutional Furniture Manufacturing
  • 2 Wood Office Furniture Manufacturing

Skilled Workforce

West Plain’s labor shed has a strong workforce equipped with all the necessary woodworking skillsets. The region’s labor shed has more jobs in the following wood processing areas than the US average:

  • More than 237x the US average in Cyclic Crude, Intermediate, and Gum and Wood Chemical Manufacturing
  • 94x the US average in Cut Stock, Resawing Lumber, and Planing
  • More than 24x the US average in Sawmills
  • More than 24x the US average in Millworks (including Flooring)
  • More than 20x the US average in Wood Sawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
  • More than 17x the US average of Fallers
  • More than 13x the US average of Log Graders and Scalers
  • More than 13x the US average of Logging Equipment Operators
  • More than 13x the US average in Logging
  • More than 12x the US average in Timber Tract Operations
  • More than 11x the US average in Wood Container and Pallet Manufacturing
  • More than 6.5x the US average of Foresters
  • More than 5x the US average in Sawmill, Woodworking, and Paper Machinery Manufacturing
  • More than 5x the US average of Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Except Sawing
  • More than 5x the US average of Forest and Conservation Workers
  • More than 3.5x the US average of Patternmakers, Wood
  • More than 3x the US average in Wood Kitchen Cabinet and Countertop Manufacturing
  • More than 2.5x the US average in Support Activities for Forestry

Also, the labor shed has seen the following growth in the wood processing jobs over the last five years:

  • 92% growth in Cyclic Crude, Intermediate, and Gum and Wood Chemical Manufacturing
  • 27% growth in Support Activities for Forestry
  • 7% growth in Furniture Stores
  • 7% growth in Forest and Conservation Technicians
  • 2% growth in Wood Kitchen Cabinet and Countertop Manufacturing

Howell County is a Missouri Department of Economic Development designated Certified Work Ready Community

ACT, the college readiness assessment standardized testing company which tests high school students for admission into college (one of two such testing companies with the SAT), has initiated a national effort to certify counties as having workers with essential skills needed for industrial workplace success.  These skills include reading for information, applied mathematics, and locating information.  ACT has found these skills are required for 67% of jobs in the USA.

This ACT certification provides evidence-based facts regarding the quality and quantity of workers in our primary county, Howell County.

Low Cost Electric Power

The City of West Plains provides an average 180,000,000 kilowatt hour of electricity to its customers thru its own transmission and distribution network. This network consists of a transmission line,6 substations, a 52 MW Generation station, and over 350 miles of lines which is owned and maintained by its own Electric Department. Electricity is procured from Southwester Power Administration, Sikeston Power plant and open market sources thru the Southwestern Power Pool. Over 24% of the total electricity purchased annually is considered “Green” Energy. Average rates are:   Residential $0.083   Commercial $0.061  Industrial $0.050. Please refer to our advertised rates for specific pricing.

Link for rates:

City of West Plains is served by Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative, Inc. (HOEC). Sho-Me Power Electric Cooperative, located in Marshfield, Missouri is HOEC’s transmission cooperative.

  • HOEC is owned by the members it serves; therefore, the cooperative is controlled by its’ members
  • HOEC is not profit driven; as a cooperative, it strives to keep costs of electricity low and maintain high quality of service
  • Commercial energy rates within West Plains can go as low as $.05 per kWh

Natural Gas

  • Summit Natural Gas of Missouri, a subsidiary of Summit Utilities, Inc. is the natural gas supplier to residents and businesses of West Plains, Missouri.
  • Summit Utilities Inc. maintains 20 natural gas systems and serves more than 40,000 homes and businesses in Colorado, Missouri, and Maine with clean, affordable natural gas.
  • Summit Natural Gas underground pipelines not only meet but exceed federal, state, and industry safety standards.

Water and Wastewater

  • The city provides water and wastewater management services to residents and businesses.
  • Water supply capacity is 5.2 million gallons per day
  • Peak consumption is 4 million gallons per day
  • The city’s Oxidation Ditch type water treatment plant has a current treatment capacity of 3.25 million gallons a day
  • Average daily treatment is 2.6 million gallons


Road Access

  • 4-laned Highway 63 intersects US Highway 60 in Howell County

Commercial Rail Access

  • West Plains is served by Burlington Northern-Santa Fe’s Heartland division

Workforce Training

  • South Central Career Center in West Plains offers a program in Woodworking
  • Missouri State University – West Plains has certificate programs in Agricultural Business

Colleges and Universities

The 10-county labor shed has access to quality practical training and higher education programs through the following institutions:

  • Missouri State University
  • Arkansas State University-Mountain Home
  • Texas County Technical College
  • Ozarka College
  • Drury University
  • Ozarks Technical Community College

Taxes and Business Costs

  • Missouri is one of only two states to allow companies to annually select the income allocation option they like (the three-factor formula, based on sales, property and payroll or the single-factor formula, based only on sales)
  • Income allocation options result in lower corporate income tax liability
  • Qualifying manufacturing companies can receive state sales tax exemption based on items such as machinery, energy, water, materials, etc.
  • Residential property is assessed at 19% of true market value
  • Personal property is assessed at 33.33% of true market value


The State of Missouri and the City of West Plains have implemented several different programs to assist existing businesses and attract new ones. Notable programs include tax credits, grants, exemptions, etc.

Local Incentive Information
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Tax Credits

Missouri Enhanced Enterprise Zone (MO EEZ)

West Plains features Missouri Department of Economic Development’s Missouri Enhanced Enterprise Zone (EEZ). The EEZ incentives are tax credits and local property tax abatements designed to encourage investment and job creation by expanding or new businesses within the region. To know more about the program, click here.

Federal New Market Tax Credits (NMTC)

  • This non-traditional financing incentive is for capital investments made by businesses both for-profit and not-for-profit) as well as for the development of mixed-use, commercial, industrial and housing projects

Historic Tax Credits

  • A 25% state investment tax credit for the “certified rehabilitation” of a “certified historic structure” used for either commercial or residential purposes
  • State historic tax credit may be carried forward for up to ten years
  • Eligible projects might also qualify for 20% federal investment tax credit for up to five years

Missouri Works Program

  • This incentive tool is considered as The State of Missouri’s number one incentive tool for expansion and retention
  • In addition to providing tax credits or access to capital through withholdings, the program also helps businesses purchase equipment to maintain its facility in Missouri

Rebuilding Communities Tax Credit Program

  • Primary aim of this incentive program is to stimulate business activity in Missouri’s “distressed communities” by providing tax credits to qualifying businesses that expand or move into a distressed community
  • For more information click here.

Tax Abatement

EEZ Local Property Tax Abatement

  • Eligible Businesses in an Enhanced Enterprise Zone
  • Eligible Businesses may receive 50% property tax abatement
  • Current EEZ zoning won’t expire until 2032

Project Financing

BUILD Missouri

The BUILD Missouri Program is an incentive tool targeted at large business projects. It allows Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Missouri Development Finance Board to provide financial incentive to an eligible entity in manufacturing, processing, assembly, research and development, and agricultural processing or services. For more information on the program, click here.

Missouri Customized Training Program

  • Must create new jobs in the state or retrain existing jobs as a result of substantial capital investment
  • Through this program, up to 100% of a company’s classroom training costs can be reimbursed