GRUNDY, VA – NOVEMBER 9, 2021 — The location of a new business at Southern Gap will bring with it up to 22 new jobs later this year as Skyline Fabricating Inc. expands its Buchanan County, Virginia operations.
The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) recently approved a loan of up to $538,030 to the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority to assist with the project which will include the development of a 25,000 square foot steel building on a 7.5-acre site near the new Southern Gap Transportation and Logistics Center (SGTLC). The SGTLC project was another unrelated Southern Gap project on which VCEDA and the Buchanan County IDA worked cooperatively, along with Southwest Virginia Community College.
Skyline is a turn-key fabrication shop founded in 2016 which began operations in 2017 in Buchanan County. It is currently located in Raven, Virginia and is owned and operated by Kenneth Horne, a Buchanan County native, who is president of the company. Skyline’s management team brings more than 30 years of experience in the fields of fabrication, welding, and design, specializing in the construction of bridges, walkways and handrails, as well as aluminum fabrication, mobile welding and plasma cutting, serving customers in the energy, structural and equipment production industries. Skyline’s services begin at the planning and design stage and continue through fabrication and installation, providing customers a smooth process from beginning to end.
The VCEDA funds to the IDA will be used toward site development, building construction, access road construction, utilities installation, the purchase and installation of overhead cranes and other improvements.
Once the building is complete, Skyline will lease-purchase the building from the IDA. Skyline company officials noted the expansion is being done to meet demand for the company’s steel and aluminum fabricated products and to expand its customer base outside of Virginia. It currently has seven full-time employees, but projects adding up to 22 new jobs within five years as a result of the expansion.
“VCEDA was pleased to assist the Buchanan County IDA and Skyline Fabricating with the company’s decision to expand its operations to the Southern Gap development in Buchanan County,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “This will help create good manufacturing jobs that will be a boost to the economy of Buchanan County and the region and we are very excited to see Skyline Fabricating locate at Southern Gap and the continued progress that has been made at that development, of which VCEDA has been a major funder along with the IDA, county and others.”
“Skyline Fabricating is excited to expand our operations to the Southern Gap site in Buchanan County,” Horne said. “With the developing infrastructure, this will broaden our markets in the fabricating and manufacturing industries. We look forward to creating additional jobs from the talented and experienced workforce in this area.”
“I’m very pleased to see this project come to fruition,” said Matt Fields, Buchanan County marketing and tourism director. “Skyline Fabrication’s decision to expand its operations to our Industrial Park at Southern Gap is not only a great benefit to the local economy, but also shows that Southern Gap has unparalleled potential as the future for economic development looks brighter than ever. This project, nor Southern Gap as a whole, would be possible without VCEDA’s continued partnership and devotion to progress in Southwest Virginia.”
The project, which was announced November 9, by Gov. Ralph Northam, also qualified for assistance through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP), which provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs in order to support employee recruitment and training activities. As a business incentive supporting economic development, VJIP reduces the human resource costs of new and expanding companies. VJIP is state-funded, demonstrating Virginia’s commitment to enhancing job opportunities for citizens.
About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. www.vceda.us or www.e-Region.org.