Wilkesboro is rich in home construction product businesses
Unlike clothing, the building materials that go into American homes don’t have labels stating where they were produced. But if they did, many of those labels would say “proudly made in Wilkes County.â€
The county is home to everything that helps build a home, including windows, cabinetry and millwork. The building, siding and lumber industries are a foundation of the local economy. For those companies, the advantages of being located Wilkes County include the dedicated, job-ready workforce and the area’s unsurpassed quality of life.
“Rural communities in most cases have a strong sense of family, which leads to a greater level of integrity and work ethic. Growing up in small town, Iowa, I have witnessed this, and Wilkes County is no exception,â€ says Scott Cranston, LP Building Products plant manager in Roaring River.
For more than 20 years, the facility has produced LP SmartSide, an engineered wood siding and trim product that is in high demand in the building industry.
The plant has 375 employees and has annual capacity of 300 million square feet of siding, trim and soffit. That’s enough for construction of 102,000 homes.
SmartSide in Demand
“The plant in Roaring River is truly a family. We have employees with over 40 years of service, and we currently have a family with three generations working at the plant. I’d say that is a pretty good way to build a solid team,â€ says Cranston.
Lumber businesses in Wilkes County include Church & Church Lumber Company and Appalachian Lumber Company.
Church & Church Lumber Company is family-owned and operated and has been a part of the forest products industry for more than three generations. The Church & Church Lumber Company family of companies controls all of its processes, including raw material acquisition, timber harvesting, sawmilling, kiln drying, order specification and shipping.
The company produces Appalachian hardwood lumber, white pine lumber and yellow pine lumber used in furniture, millwork, cabinetry, flooring, decking, log homes, containers and pallets.
Appalachian Lumber Company, founded in 1982, is a third-generation business. The company produces parts for fine furniture, cabinetry and other products. The company also produces a wide range of stock and custom stair parts, moldings and hardwood flooring. The company’s office and plant facilities include more than 64,000 square feet of space.
Carolina Heritage Cabinetry’s state-of-the-art 58,000-square-foot facility has the latest CNC machines operated by skilled craftsmen. Jenkins Millwork manufactures quality millwork for the building supply industry. The company has a full line of interior and exterior doors.
Window World, another of Wilkes County’s major companies, is the country’s largest exterior remodeling company. The company has a national workforce and employs about 40 full-time workers at its corporate offices in North Wilkesboro. The facility has about 50,000 square feet of space.
“There are numerous advantages to basing Window World’s headquarters here in Wilkes County. Wilkes is a wonderful place to live and raise children,â€ says chairman and CEO Tammy Whitworth.
Wilkes County’s quality of life is unmatched, with good schools, dedicated teachers, parks, downtown communal areas, biking trails, an excellent library system and other facilities as well as many community-building events and festivals, she says.
Window World supports numerous local causes and organizations including Children’s Hope Alliance, Ebenezer’s Christian Children’s Home, ADAP, Samaritan’s Purse, Samaritan’s Kitchen and the Wilkes County Hall of Fame.
Window World is donating $100,000 to each local high school to provide new construction or help upgrade existing facilities. The first school to receive funding, Wilkes Central, used the money to build a state-of-the-art Universal End Zone Building and Todd Whitworth Concession Stand in 2017.
Window World also partners with Veterans Airlift Command, which facilitates free transportation for wounded veterans and their families. Offering soldiers returning from combat the opportunity to fly worry-free to visit loved ones and receive medical treatment, Window World has flown more than 100 missions and surpassed $1 million in flights and in-kind donations.
“We are a family-centric company here at Window World, and the communal environment that Wilkes County maintains is a tremendous asset for all our employees. We cherish this county and the people who call it home, and we hope to continue to contribute to its success for many years to come,â€ says Whitworth.