SmartLam Receives $250,000 Grant from USDA

Columbia Falls company in the process of expanding with plans for new facility

By Beacon Staff
Casey Malmquist gives Gov. Steve Bullock a tour of SmartLam in Columbia Falls on Tuesday, May 5, 2014. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded a $250,000 grant to SmartLam, a cross-laminated timber manufacturer and distributor in Columbia Falls.

Founded in 2012, SmartLam is the first manufacturer and distributor of cross laminated timber products in the United States. It is in the process of expanding into a new building, expected to be between 120,000 and 160,000 square feet. When construction is completed, it will be the largest cross-laminated timber manufacturer in the world.

Wood Innovations Grant are awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and are awarded to companies that use wood products as a renewable energy source and as a building material. SmartLam was one of two firms in Montana to receive grant funding. The awarded funds will increase the use of wildfire fuel from public lands to promote forest health and create jobs.

Montana U.S. Sen. Jon Tester helped secure the USDA grant, which was announced last week.

“The folks at SmartLam are producing a unique product, and these additional resources will help them continue to grow and hire folks in the Flathead Valley,” Tester said. “Successful operations like SmartLam continue to show the country the high quality businesses here in Montana.”

SmartLam has hired 30 people and plans to hire additional employees when its planned expansion is completed.