The Jasper Economic Development Corporation met in regular session on Tuesday evening and heard very good reports from the computer, aeronautics, and wood industries. The board also welcomed their newest member, local businessman Chris Lanier who owns LRG, a Jasper headquartered security application consulting firm that serves nearly half of the continental United States with several satellite offices in other states.
Brant Cobb, the CEO of Texas CLT (cross laminated timber), addressed the board and he said that his company is looking to open an operation in Jasper. The company, which is located in Nacogdoches, already operates a plant in Magnolia, Arkansas which Cobb said constantly runs at full capacity and employs about 60 people.
Cobb said that plant can’t keep up with demand, in fact he said that they are back-ordered about three years, so they desperately need to open a second facility.
According to Cobb, they want to locate in Jasper because their demand for southern pine is high, and Deep East Texas has an ample supply of it. The company makes building components by compressing and gluing the wood together, creating floors, walls, ceilings, and even beams - everything needed to build a structure up to 18 stories tall.
Cobb said the company is asking JEDCO for help in finding and obtaining a building that is at least 60,000 square feet, and they also need at least 6 acres of land to store the finished product, and they need this no later than December 1st and they want to be up and going by the end of January 2020.
The board told Cobb that they would remain in contact with him.
The board also heard from Ryan Boyette of Spectre Aeronautics, an aviation company located at the Jasper County Bell Field Airport. In July of last year, JEDCO approved a $275,000.00 grant to assist Spectre to manufacture and sell kit airplanes. The company is headed up by local aviator and businessman Kevin Boyette, and Ryan is his son.
Ryan said that although the JEDCO grant required the company to have at least six full-time employees, he said they already have twelve full-timers, six of which are salaried over $50,000.00 per year, and he noted that they’ll most likely be adding two more employees in the near future.
According to Ryan, they are still working on getting certain aspects of the business in place and up and running. Ryan said “We are ready to move forward. We’re definitely not in a holding pattern anymore”.
JEDCO also heard from a representative of Provalus, an Alabama based computer technology firm that recently opened a location here in Jasper. He said that Provalus already has just under 50 employees on the payroll, and he said that five people are nearing completion of their ‘boot camp’.
Meanwhile, those interested in working for Provalus can learn more about it in an upcoming job fair, to be held on Tuesday, July 16th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Jasper Higher Education Building on Bulldog Avenue.