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Specialty trailer manufacturer acquiring Conley Fabrication

Company plans to add 40 jobs

Conley Fabrication on Conley Drive off West Virginia 14 is being purchased by JAG Mobile Solutions, an Indiana-based manufacturer of specialty trailers owned by West Virginia native and WVU graduate Bill Gibson. (Photo Provided)

MINERAL WELLS — A company with West Virginia ties purchased the assets of Conley Fabrication and plans to add 40 jobs.

JAG Mobile Solutions is purchasing the 23,000-square-foot facility that opened six years ago off West Virginia 14, near what is now Hino Motors. Owner Roger Conley and his 10 employees will stay on as the operation shifts from dump truck bodies and similar products to JAG’s mobile restroom, kitchen, shower and other specialty trailers.

Conley said the deal came about as he contemplated retirement and “an exit strategy” that would benefit more than just himself.

“I’m excited that I get to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but at the same time, I think we’re going to be doing a tremendous thing for the community,” he said. “It gives my employees absolutely the best job security that you could ask for.”

Conley and his son, Jeff, started the business in 2010 after their previous employer, Benson International Corp., closed. Over the next 10 years, they saw approximately 25 percent sales growth every year.

That trend broke last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Conley said gross sales dropped by 50 percent, prices increased and materials he’d been able to order in less than a month took 24 weeks to be delivered. His workforce dropped from the mid-20s to 10 people.

“The market I am in right now, from a manufacturing standpoint, was really crippled by COVID,” he said.

JAG, which is based in Howe, Ind., has a 12-month backlog for its products, some of which Conley has already manufactured over the last couple of years. Roger Conley said he’s known and worked with JAG owner Bill Gibson, a Mountain State native and graduate of West Virginia University, for 30 years.

“Conley Fabrication is going to continue the products that we build now but on a limited basis,” Conley said. “This will be a third full JAG Mobile Solutions plant.”

JAG employs more than 100 people and ships products to 19 countries, according to a release from Wood County Economic Development, which has been working with Gibson and Conley.

“Bill Gibson has built a company that continues to grow and is looking to better the lives of people from his home state by paying a good wage and offering competitive benefits,” Wood County Economic Development Executive Director Lindsey Piersol said in the release. “We look forward to his continued success and growth here in West Virginia.”

JAG plans an open house and hiring event at the 145 Conley Drive facility from 4-7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

JAG is looking to hire 40 new employees. Applicants can apply in advance online by visiting www.jagmobilesolutions.com/jobs/.

“We’re going to go from 10 (employees) to 50 as quick as we can,” Conley said.

Wood County Commission Blair Couch said he’s excited for JAG to expand into the area.

“Roger Conley and his family ran a great operation, and we hope that the new owners do as well,” he said.

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.

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