For centuries, the forests of the Appalachian Mountains have sustained local communities, provided raw materials for economic expansion, and inspired visitors through local art and trade. The New River Gorge region of West Virginia continues this tradition by supporting and growing the practices of crafting wood products and supporting the forestry industry.
West Virginia’s 12 million acres of forestland and 75 billion board feet of timber inventory form the basis of a thriving wood industry. As one of the top wood-producing states in the nation, West Virginia outputs more than 700 million board feet of lumber, 770 million square feet of OSB and 800 million square feet of veneer annually. The state ranks third nationally in percentage of forested land at 79 percent.
Join hundreds of wood processors and thousands of employees in the industry by choosing the New River Gorge region for your wood products production facility. The region offers a skilled labor force of industry specialists, fostered through the traditions of the region as well as cutting edge technology and methods being taught on local higher education campuses within the region. Your production would be in the company of national industry leaders such as Columbia Forest Products, Jeldwen Windows and Doors, Collins Hardwood, New River Hardwoods, and many more.
The West Virginia Wood Technology Center in Elkins offers a wide range of training and certification programs in advanced wood manufacturing technologies on state of the art, computerized equipment and partners with neighboring Fairmont State University offering an associate degree in Wood Production Technology. The Center also provides incubator space for wood product startup companies and offers machine rental time on its equipment to incubator tenants as well as area wood businesses in general.
Advanced degree programs in forestry/forest technology are also offered at:
- Glenville State College
- Potomac State College of West Virginia University
- West Virginia University (Soon to be locating a new campus Downtown Beckley, in Raleigh County)
In addition to educational programs for those new to the industry, the region offers assistance programs for those interested in locating or expanding their production to the New River Gorge region of West Virginia.
- State of West Virginia Forestry Division’s Industry Assistance Program
- Appalachian Hardwood Center at West Virginia University
In addition to the direct commerce brought into the region through the forestry industry, communities benefit from these businesses in several ways. Economic markets increase for local events and attractions, tourist services, forest industry products and the arts. Communities grow stronger through local participation and regional networking within and around these products.
The entire region continues to work with industry leaders to expand the works within and appreciation of our multi-faceted forests.
Take a look at groups who have decided to make West Virginia their home within the industry….