MONTGOMERY — The United States Department of Agriculture is investing $7.5 million in a Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan to help assist in the creation of a new manufacturing facility and administrative operations in Kanawha and Fayette counties.
The loan guarantee is being made to Ranger Scientific, which will use the loan to acquire the old Montgomery High School building as a base of operations for an ammunition manufacturing facility the company is creating. Funds from the investment will also assist with renovations, machinery and equipment, and working capital, according to a USDA press release. Along with the direct benefit to the communities of Montgomery and Smithers, this investment will also allow Ranger Scientific to initially create 16 jobs that will directly impact Kanawha and Fayette counties. Eventual projections for the company call for 400 jobs in the area.
"One of the results this facility will bring to the communities of Montgomery and Smithers is a boost in their economic development, which in turn will enhance economic development throughout the Mountain State," Kris Warner, West Virginia state director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said in the press release. "Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA has been working tirelessly to be a strong partner to rural West Virginia businesses in building stronger and healthier communities, because we know when rural West Virginia thrives, all of America thrives."
This project is one of eight in a statewide investment of more than $28 million in business and industry loan guarantees.
The Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program improves the economic health of rural communities by increasing access to business capital through loan guarantees. This enables commercial lenders to provide affordable financing for rural businesses. For more information about the program, visit https://go.usa.gov/xGXbh.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements, business development, housing, community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care, and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
"I am very excited about the acquisition of the high school and the opportunity provided by this company in creating jobs and the potential for future growth and development in Montgomery and surrounding areas in the valley," said Denise Scalph, president of the Fayette County Commission. "Fayette County and our resource coordinator (Gabriel Peña) were able to assist with Brownfield Grant monies for environmental site assessments.
"I commend Mayors (Greg) Ingram and (Anne) Cavalier for all their hard work, initiatives and strategy in the revitalization of the Upper Kanawha Valley. As I stated, this is very exciting and I will continue to partner and support economic opportunities and development that provide employment and business possibilities throughout the county."