Mechanization Decreases Jobs in Lumber Industry

Along the winding scenic roads in the Missouri Ozarks, oak and pine trees tower over acres of shrubs and leaves. Outside Salem, a break in the tall bliss reveals a muddy opening surrounded by logs. Sawdust fills the air. This is Spencer Lumber Co., a sustainable sawmill used for lumber production.

The fourth generation sawmill is addressing job reduction because of lumber mechanization. Owner Stephen Spencer cut a few jobs last year. He said this is due to new technology.

“I can run this equipment by myself and get as much accomplished as I could with two workers,” said Spencer.

Bobby Reichard is one of five employees who work at the sawmill. Reichard is in his second year working with Spencer. He said the company is still going strong.

“We don’t slow down a bit, because when you do really good, you don’t want to turn orders away,” said Reichard.

-Carah Hart

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