Armstrong World Industries upgrading

BEVERLY, W.Va. – Armstrong World Industries, a hardwood flooring manufacturer and one of Randolph County’s biggest employers is investing $11 million at the 75-acre Beverly facility.

The upgrades will modernize the facility and strengthen the infrastructure, Steve Bullock, who became plant manager in March, said.

The plant employs 650 people.

Among the upgrades in the $11 million is new drying technology and Beverly is the only facility in the country with the technology to expedite the production process, Bullock said. From 40 days, it will not take four days from when wood arrives at the plant to when it goes into boxes for the customer, he said.

“Forty days through the process to four is a huge difference,” he said.

Armstrong also is working with a vendor to make planks by joining pieces presently too short for flooring, he said.

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., was present at Thursday’s announcement and received an award from the National Association of Manufacturers. Jerry Hodge, the association senior director, presented the award to Capito.

“It’s really good to see that they are making these types of investments because it means economic development for the area, it means increased money for suppliers in the area, it means more workers, it means more growth, it means more exports, it means more everything. Armstrong just has such great products that it’s great to see,” Hodge said.

John Bassett, the vice president of human resources for Armstrong, said he looks forward to watching Armstrong continue to grow.

“I will say that Armstrong, as a company, we are very happy to have this plant here. As Steve indicated, we have invested a lot of money into this facility,” Bassett said. “We have great employees here, a great management team and this plant is very important to our manufacturing footprint.”

Armstrong World Industries has 35 plants is six countries and employs 7,500 people worldwide. Six of the plants, including the Beverly location, are hardwood facilities.