RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) – A metal fabricating operation in Buchanan County’s Oakwood community plans to more than double in size and create 22 new jobs, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday.

Skyline Fabricating, which makes structural steel and aluminum products such as bridges, walkways, platforms and grating, will build a new 25,000-square-foot facility in nearby Southern Gap.

Skyline is investing nearly $700,000 to complete the project at Southern Gap, which is a mixed-use commercial and industrial development site that also features complimentary quality of life tourism initiatives in the mountainous rural county.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Buchanan County, the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority and the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) to secure the project.

The release states Skyline will lease-purchase the building from the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority, which is using a $538,030 VCEDA loan to complete the project.

VCEDA funds will be used toward site development, building construction, access road construction, utility installation, the purchase and installation of overhead cranes and other improvements.

Skyline, which opened its fabricating arm in 2016, is expanding into new markets, including some outside the Commonwealth, particularly in the energy industry.

“The developing infrastructure will broaden our markets in the fabricating and manufacturing industries,” Skyline President Kenny Horne said in a news release. “We look forward to creating additional jobs from the talented and experienced workforce in this area.”

The project in economically distressed Buchanan County is benefiting from several economic development programs. They include the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, which provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs in order to support employee recruitment and training activities.

“It’s great news when a company that starts in Virginia continues to grow here,” Northam said in the release. “Companies of all sizes in every region are supported by the Commonwealth’s unmatched advantages and impressive programs. Skyline has been a great partner for Buchanan County and Southwest Virginia and we appreciate their new investment.”

VCEDA Executive Director Jonathan Belcher said Skyline’s growth, which is projected to occur over five years, will be a boon to the county.

“We are very excited to see Skyline Fabricating locate at Southern Gap and the continued progress that has been made at that development, of which VCEDA has been a major funder along with the IDA, county and others,” Belcher said in a release.