October 31, 2018
The National Development Council is proud to announce an investment of $7M New Markets Tax Credits in a rural West Virginia project that has struggled to recover from devastating floods in 2016.
NDC’s investment will close the funding gap for a new construction facility owned by the WV Great Barrel Company (WVGBC). WVGBC was founded to create quality jobs and grow a new industry utilizing available natural resources and human capital in Greenbrier and Monroe Counties in the southeastern part of the state.
By capitalizing on the growing artisanal spirits market, WVGBC Real Estate Holding Company, LLC is building a 136,000+ SF, state of the art cooperage that will produce high quality barrels for distilling bourbon, whiskey and rye using Appalachian white oak, a resource native to WV that is coveted by distillers because barrels made from White Oak have lower leakage and evaporation. (A shortage of barrels is estimated between 365,500 and 620,000 in 2019.) The barrels will be sold to distillers in and outside the state of WV. A stave mill will supply the cooperage and is located about 20 miles away. The mill, 55% owned by WVGBC and which also produces flooring, is an integral part of the business plan for WVGBC.
The area poverty rate is 22.6 percent with an unemployment rate of 7.5%. The new facility will create 40 full-time construction jobs, and 52 new permanent full-time jobs onsite, and 35 new off-site full-time jobs at the mill. Combined Cooperage and Mill jobs will increase to 178 at full capacity, with 108 indirect full-time jobs in forestry and steel hoop fabrication.
All of the above employees will have access to an employee benefits plan that includes medical, prescription, dental, vision, disability and life insurance. Other benefits include Flexible Spending Accounts, a 401K retirement savings plan with employer match, Members Choice WV Federal Credit Union access and job training.
Regional technical schools have active forestry and wood-related curriculums. WVGBC has already established a relationship with West Virginia Tech and expects to work with them to develop relevant curriculum. Bohnert Equipment Company Inc. will also provide equipment specific training.