Floyd County today announced that Thomas Industrial Fabrication is moving to Floyd, Virginia. The project will bring 28 fulltime jobs to the County, with employees earning about $50,000/year on average, nearly double the average wages of people currently working inside Floyd County ($28,652 according to the Virginia Employment Commission.) The company is buying the former Dreaming Creek property from the Economic Development Authority (EDA) of Floyd County, which acquired it in the closing weeks of 2018.
Thomas Industrial Fabrication is a family business, owned by John Paul and Kelly Thomas and currently operating in Woolwine, Virginia. The couple has lived in Floyd County for over a decade and has family roots in the County.
“My father started the company in 1997, and I stepped into leadership about a decade ago, during the recession. We came out stronger despite the recession and have doubled our workforce in the past 10 years. Our motivation in purchasing this building is to give us the possibility for expansion, as well as to provide stability and create a more organized workplace by having all production under one roof. Floyd is a great fit for us in part because of the strong welding program at Floyd County High School, and the better transportation access.”
The Floyd County Board of Supervisors loaned the EDA funds to purchase the former Dreaming Creek property in December 2018, which is a 27,000+ SF building on nearly 11 acres in the Floyd Regional Commerce Center. The EDA retains the right to buy the property back at the incentive sales price if the property is to be sold in the next 5 years. The EDA’s purchase allowed the addition of deed restrictions to the property and reservation of access across the property.
Lauren Yoder, Chairman of the Floyd County Board of Supervisors said, “We are excited to welcome Thomas Industrial Fabrication and these good-paying jobs with strong benefits to Floyd County. And the company will add significantly to the County tax base. This underlines the value of strong Career and Technical Education training for our youth and adults. This is very important to employers including the Thomas’. We are delighted to welcome them to Floyd County.”
The new jobs will include welders, machinists, millwrights, fabricators, mechanics, engineers, buyers, foreman, and office support. Eight of the current employees, including the owners, live in Floyd County.
Jon Beegle, Chairman of the Economic Development Authority of Floyd County, added, “This is a great fit for Floyd County. One of our goals is to increase the number of good-paying jobs here, and this is another step in that direction. We have so many citizens with great welding and fabrication skills thanks to the fantastic welding program that Doug Thompson runs at Floyd County High School. John Paul and Kelly Thomas are already valued members of our community, and after 2 years of conversation with them about getting this business to Floyd, we are delighted that it is happening. We are very grateful and excited that they are investing in Floyd, and we look forward to their continued growth and success.”
With this deal and the recent leasing of the last available space at the Floyd Innovation Center, the County and EDA have no more business facilities available for lease or sell. They do have one pre-graded 9-acre site available, and they are developing plans for a new 20,000 SF shell building in the Commerce Center, which will also be dividable. The County is also reaching out to private developers to encourage development of more business and mixed-use spaces.