A fine day for boating

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I’m a big believer in the theory of rising tides. My niche in the woodworking industry is very small, so my boat is correspondingly small. But it’s a boat nonetheless, and it’ll rise right along with the others. And it looks like there are indications that the water’s rising.

American Woodmark recently announced that they’re doing a major expansion of their manufacturing facility here in West Virginia that will bring about $30 million into the state’s economy and add 80 full-time jobs. I don’t know a lot about the company other than they’re based in Virginia but have facilities in several states, they supply cabinets to both Lowe’s and Home Depot, and they have several hundred cabinet lines.

The fact that it’s bringing jobs and capital into my state is great, but the bigger joy is the reason for it: The company president noted that confidence in the recovery of the housing market was the driving factor. This is really good news for my state in a direct economic sense, but even more importantly it’s an indicator that things just might be getting better, at least as the economy is affected by the housing industry.

I don’t build houses, I don’t install cabinets and I’m not a contractor. I don’t do any kind of work for the housing industry, in fact. But when one segment of our industry grows directly as a result of an improvement in the economy – and there are few indicators as important as housing – it’s likely to translate into growth for us all.

A.J.

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