RDP invested $15 Million of its New Markets Tax Credits allocation for WVGBC to construct a new barrel manufacturing facility in White Sulphur Springs, WV.
White Sulphur Springs and the region surrounding the new cooperage has a substantial population of unemployed, underemployed and low-income citizens, in large part to due disappearing industries such as forestry and coal mining.
Furthermore, the flood of 2016 devastated White Sulphur Springs. Eight to ten inches of rain hit the town within a 12-hour period on June 23, 2016. The surrounding hills, valleys, and streams created the conditions for powerful flash flooding, which killed 15 people in Greenbrier County and destroyed scores of homes and businesses. Thus, the project is located in a FEMA zone due to the 2016 floods in an area that 22.6% of its population lives in poverty.
White oak is essential to making barrels for the growing distilled spirits industry, and West Virginia is in the heart of vast white oak reserves. Nearly all the white oak presently harvested in the state is shipped to other states for manufacturing or placed in containers and shipped overseas. There are no new business enterprises in West Virginia adding value to white oak. WVGBC will dramatically change this. In one year of full, one-shift production, WVGBC will convert $15MM in regionally harvested white oak to over $50MM in new economic impact, creating high quality jobs in manufacturing, milling and logging.