Governor Bob McDonnell announced that W&B Fabricators, Inc., a manufacturer of mining machinery and equipment, will invest $3.1 million to establish an operation in Bland County. Virginia successfully competed against Tennessee and West Virginia for the project, which will create 50 new jobs.
Speaking about the announcement, Governor McDonnell said, "With W&B Fabricators' first Virginia operation, Bland County gains a new employer and 50 valuable jobs for its citizens. Southwest Virginia is a great fit for the company, providing a strong, available workforce, low cost of business and close proximity to an abundant natural resource that will help increase W&B's customer pool for mining equipment and machinery. We are proud to welcome Virginia's newest corporate partner and are confident in the company's future success in the Commonwealth."
"This project is great news for Bland County and the surrounding region as it recovers from a down economy," said Jim Cheng, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. "W&B Fabricators was able to find a locality that fit its needs, as well as an available facility that can be easily modified to allow the company to start production quickly. We thank W&B for investing in Virginia and creating 50 new jobs."
W&B Fabricators, Inc. is owned and operated by Mr. Aaron R. "Russ" Boothe. The company, which has operated in Mercer County, West Virginia for more than 24 years, is a fabrication/machine shop operation, providing fabrication and welding services to other industries, including other commercial manufacturing companies, mining and mining-related industries. The company provides services to major coal operators throughout Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. Currently, the primary specialty of W&B Fabricators is rebuilding cutter head drums and conveyor booms for continuous miners.
"Bland County is an ideal location for us to relocate and expand our business," stated "Russ" Booth, Owner/President, W & B Fabricators, Inc. "This is a pro-business community with a workforce that's a perfect match for our needs. We appreciate the assistance from the County of Bland, Virginia's aCorridor, and the Commonwealth in making this project a reality."
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Bland County and Virginia's aCorridor to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McDonnell approved a $100,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Bland County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission also approved $100,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds. Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funding and services to support the company's recruitment, training and retraining activities.
"The County of Bland is excited about the opportunities the opening of W&B Fabricators, Inc. brings to the area. They bring the kind of opportunities that we want in our community. It is an industry that will employ a substantial amount of people with strong wages and benefits," stated Karen Hodock, Bland County Board of Supervisors.
"The Economic Development Authority is extremely proud that W & B Fabricators has decided to join our existing world-class businesses and industries located along the I-77 corridor in beautiful Bland County. The EDA welcomes companies that produce great products such as W&B Fabricators to join the successful manufacturing community right here in the County of Bland," stated David Dillow, Chairman, Bland County EDA.
"The Tobacco Commission is excited to play a role in this expansion," said Delegate Terry Kilgore, Chairman of the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. "Fifty new jobs will mean a lot to Bland County and the region.