Kiln Drying Systems Announces Plans to Double Workforce

July 6, 2011

Kiln Drying Systems & Components, Inc. (KDS) announced their expansion plans today for their facility in Henderson County. KDS is a North Carolina-based company specializing in lumber drying systems.  With new technology advances, a facility and workforce expansion is required to help KDS keep up with the demand and stay ahead of their competition.  The company will add 19 new employees, effectively doubling their workforce in North Carolina.

KDS has enjoyed doing business in Henderson County and looks forward to growth and implementation of new technology in their business model.  “In 1999, KDS began designing, fabricating, installing and commissioning large scale Lumber Drying Kilns and Green Sawdust Gasification Burner Systems.  The Green Sawdust Gasification Burners allow sawmills to get off any fossil fuels, while fulfilling their thermal energy needs to dry lumber,” said Rob Girardi, President of KDS.  “We are excited by the possibilities of our current CDK (Continuous Drying Kiln), which goes a step further by saving 30% of the thermal energy requirement to dry the lumber, thus lowering emissions and costs to our customers.”

Mike Edney, Chair of the Henderson County Board of Commissioners, remarked, “the growth of KDS is exciting, especially during this economic climate.”  He further summarized the value of the expansion as “seeing a locally-grown small business enact plans to double their workforce and extend quality employment opportunities to the citizens of Henderson County.”

KDS is located in Etowah, in Commissioner Bill O’Connor’s district.  Commissioner O’Connor was personally involved in meeting with KDS leadership and had this to say about the project.  “Kiln Drying Systems has been a part of the Etowah community and of Henderson County for 19 years.  Their high-tech approach to what most consider low tech business exemplifies the very best kind of business thinking; and their leadership in their industry is widely recognized.  We enthusiastically welcome this expansion, which is a doubling of their contribution in jobs supported to our community.  We on the County Commission are committed to supporting businesses with the technological excellence of KDS, and will do all we can to continue to provide a business friendly environment to KDS; and to finding more like them among the very best and brightest, to provide jobs for our Henderson County people.”

The company plans to create 19 jobs and invest $1.4 million during the next three years at their Etowah facility.  A One NC Fund grant of $19,700 will aid the expansion, in addition to local incentive support through an annual grant.  Customized training support for new employees will be provided by Blue Ridge Community College and the NC Community College System.  Salaries will be dependent on job function, averaging $50,500 for annual wage plus benefits, exceeding the average wage in Henderson County of $32,240.

The Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development, Inc. is a 501(c)6 organization that works to: retain and attract quality jobs; solicit new business compatible with the assets and values of Henderson County; promote Henderson County’s business image; assist expansion of existing companies; and enhance Henderson County’s overall quality of life.  For more information on the Partnership visit  For more information about KDS, visit