Danny “Sean” Lester
Governor McAuliffe Announces 15 New Jobs in Tazewell County
-Blue Wolf to invest $1.56 million to expand industrial cleaner manufacturing and supply operation-
RICHMOND - Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Blue Wolf, a manufacturer and supplier of professional quality industrial strength cleaners for the wholesale and retail market, will invest $1.56 million to expand its operation in Tazewell County. The company will move to a larger facility and install new advanced packaging and manufacturing machines due to a strong increase in product demand for nationwide retailers. Virginia successfully competed against West Virginia for the project, which will create 15 new jobs.
Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “I am thrilled to announce the expansion of another advanced manufacturing company in Virginia. Helping the Commonwealth’s existing businesses in this important continue in order to build a new Virginia economy, and adding jobs in our burgeoning manufacturing sector is a key component of our efforts. We look forward to a continued partnership with Blue Wolf for years to come.”
“Blue Wolf has been an important contributor to the community in Tazewell County for nearly three decades, and we congratulate the company on this great expansion and continued success here in the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “Helping existing businesses in this key manufacturing sector is one of the best strategies for growing and diversifying the economy in Southwest Virginia and across the Commonwealth.”
Blue Wolf has been manufacturing and supplying professional quality industrial strength cleaners to the wholesale and retail markets for over 28 years. Created in response to the mining industry’s needs for a product that could degrease and clean equipment, the product also became popular in mining households for its ability to clean carpets, showers, vinyl siding and kitchen appliances. In recent years, Blue Wolf has continued to expand its product offerings, with consumer products such as glass cleaners, car wash soaps, and other auto detailing products, as well as industrial strength products. Blue Wolf has developed a regional market with retail customers such as Walmart, Food City, Lowes, Kroger, Food Lion, Magic Mart, Grants Super Markets, and many other retail and food stores.
“Blue Wolf is anxious to move from our 7,500-square-foot facility to a modern, 95,000-square-foot one that will provide us the space and exposure we will need to succeed on a national, and, potentially international, level,” said Sean Lester, President of Blue Wolf Sales and Service. “We look forward to providing a superior product to many users in the future, and we hope to produce Blue Wolf cleaning supplies for years to come in Tazewell County.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with Tazewell County and the Tazewell County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $45,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Tazewell County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $50,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds. The company is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, administered by VEDP.
The Tazewell County IDA contributed its equity in the former Bluefield Beverage Building to the project in the form of a jobs creation grant to Blue Wolf. This allowed Blue Wolf to acquire the larger facility and move from renting in the IDA Idea Park, spending its resources on equipment upgrades and marketing.
“After several years in our Idea Park, we are very pleased that Blue Wolf has taken marketing steps to move to another level,” said Doyle Rasnick, Chairman of the Tazewell County IDA. “We are anxious for them to fill up their new building with people and product. Blue Wolf is exactly the type of diversified company we are striving to see as Tazewell County continues its economic growth.
“Blue Wolf is evolving to a national market from their successful regional efforts,” said Seth White, Chairman, Tazewell County Board of Supervisors. “We look forward to their growth and will help them in any way we can as they proceed on their journey.”
“This is great news for our region and encouraging that Blue Wolf is taking on the risk of expansion in a depressed economy,” said Delegate James W. (Will) Morefield, a member of the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. “Although only a small number of jobs are being created, it is good to see any effort made toward diversifying our economy. I commend Tazewell County and its local government representatives for helping make the expansion project possible."
“Expanding advanced manufacturing in Southwest Virginia is a vital component to growing and diversifying our regional economy,” said Senator A. Benton Chafin Jr. “Blue Wolf’s investment and job creation is wonderful news for Tazewell County. I am proud to see Blue Wolf continue their decades-long commitment to Southwest Virginia."