Story by Jeff Jenkins, MetroNews

PETERSBURG, W.Va. — Allegheny Wood Products, a 50-year-old West Virginia-based internationally known hardwood producer, closed its doors Friday and eliminated hundreds of jobs held by state residents.

State Economic Development Secretary Mitch Carmichael called the news “very sudden and unfortunate.” He spoke with company officials Friday afternoon.

MetroNews was waiting on a company statement Friday night.

Allegheny met with workers Thursday night and Friday and told them about the decision to cease operations. The owners have been trying to sell the company but that recently fell through along with financing.

It was reported last fall that AWP had started discussions with several potential investors to avoid closing the company’s operations.

Allegheny Wood Products is based in Grant County but has a number of locations and various operations around the state including in Kingwood, where its largest mill is located. The company has an operation including its headquarters in an industrial park near Petersburg and a fumigation facility in Moorefield. The company employs about 600 people but also a few hundred contractors.

Hardy County residents opposed a second fumigation facility that Allegheny was seeking last year. The company withdrew its application for an air quality permit last May.

MetroNews spoke with all three members of the Hardy County Commission Friday evening. None of them had been contacted Friday by Allegheny.

Workers were posting on social media what it was like Friday to hear the news. One told MetroNews he was told, “We’re closed, go home.”

It’s the second major economic blow in the state in recent weeks following a string of significant positive announcements in 2023. Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. announced last week its decision to close its tin mill in Weirton in two months. The decision will leave 900 workers unemployed.