|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
|Assistance to Coal Communities||8||$8,335,145|
|Economic Adjustment Assistance||2||$1,531,000|
|Regional Innovation Program||1||$500,000|
Randolph County, WV - The decline in the coal industry has had a devastating impact on the economy in West Virginia. Over 10,000 direct jobs and countless indirect jobs have been lost since 2009. The mine closures and layoffs have had a ripple effect throughout this region and the displaced workers have very few options for alternative employment. One of West Virginia’s primary employment opportunities exists within the hardwood industry. It provides living wage jobs to over 30,000 individuals and generates over $3,200,000,000 annually to the State’s economy. Randolph County is located in the heart of the West Virginia Hardwood Alliance Zone which consists of nine counties and over 200 hardwood industry businesses critical to economic diversification and resiliency in the State. The largest manufacturer in the region employed 630 employees and the company invested over $62,000,000 annually through their payroll and purchase of lumber and materials from local suppliers. The Randolph County Development Authority (RCDA) requested assistance from EDA to secure a new warehousing location for the flooring manufacturer. The company’s existing manufacturing facility lacked sufficient critical warehouse space which jeopardized a large number of jobs.
In September 2017, EDA invested $2,500,000 in Assistance to Coal Communities funds to RCDA to fund the consolidation of their existing manufacturing and warehouse space with the construction of an 85,000 square foot addition to the existing RCDA-owned 750,000 square foot facility. The West Virginia Economic Development Authority loaned RCDA $5,000,000 for construction. The expanded facility will become the distribution center for the entire east coast. The manufacturer has invested $1,000,000 toward the construction and another $15,000,000 to the state-of-the-art buildout of this expanded facility. As a result of this project, it is anticipated that 60 jobs will be retained and another 50 jobs will be created in the first three years with additional projected job growth in the future. Additional indirect jobs will be created as a result of the expanded flooring facility being designated as the distribution center for the east coast.