HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday that Speyside Bourbon Cooperage, a manufacturer of world-class bourbon barrels, will create 51 new jobs when it opens its first Pennsylvania facility in Clarion County.
“Manufacturing has always been part of the heritage and lifeblood of this region and our commonwealth,” said Wolf. “Having a global company like Speyside open a new, state-of-the-art facility in Pennsylvania speaks volumes about our competitive economy and skilled manufacturing workforce. I know the company will have a bright future here.”
Neil Weaver, acting secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development, was joined by company and local officials for a groundbreaking ceremony.
“Business development is a major part of DCED’s mission, and one of the tasks we take most seriously is attracting new companies to Pennsylvania,” said Weaver. “The commonwealth has so many advantages that make it a great place to do business, from our world-class workforce to our strategic location to our unique mix of affordable cost of living and high quality of life. I’m thrilled to welcome Speyside to Pennsylvania.”
Speyside will purchase 20 acres in Clarion Township and build a four-line, state-of-the-art stave mill for the purpose of producing staves (narrow pieces of wood) and heading to be used in the production of high-quality bourbon barrels.
“We are so pleased to be joining the Clarion Township community. This location makes such good sense for our company,” said Speyside General Manager and Vice-President Darren Whitmer. “Clarion Township allows us to extend our footprint into an area rich in the natural resource we need to make our barrels – American White Oak. We have already experienced how great the community is, and we recognize that we have a ready workforce experienced in the wood industry we hope will join our team when the time comes.”
The company received a funding proposal from DCED for a $139,653 Pennsylvania First grant and a $63,000 workforce development grant to train its new workers. Speyside has committed to investing more than $14.6 million into the project and creating at least 51 new, full-time manufacturing jobs within the next three years.
This project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania. Through GAT, Gov. Wolf has invested nearly $18 billion over the past seven years to support 427 completed projects, create more than 48,000 new jobs, and retain more than 143,800 jobs for Pennsylvanians.
“The CCEDC is thrilled to welcome Speyside to Clarion County,” said Jarred Heuer, Executive Director of the Clarion County Economic Development Corporation. “Our wood products industry here in northwestern Pennsylvania is highly desirable, and we are elated to see Speyside choose Clarion County as their first Pennsylvania home.”
Speyside Bourbon Cooperage Inc. has six current stave mills in the U.S. The company is a subsidiary of Speyside Cooperage Ltd., founded in Scotland in 1947. It is also the U.S. subsidiary of the parent company TFF Group, a global cooperage company based in St. Romain, France. The TFF group currently has businesses in 85 countries around the world and are specialists in every aspect of the cooperage industry since 1906.