Metal Manufacturing

General Engineering employee

Washington County offers a business-friendly operating environment for metal manufacturers as well as the OEMs they supply.

Our Business Benefits

General Engineering employees

Businesses in the metal manufacturing industry in Washington County benefit from:

– A large workforce with diverse skill sets and advanced problem-solving skills
– Lower-than-average wages
– An excellent transportation network

Washington County provides room for your business to grow in a safe and scenic environment rich with cultural and recreational amenities.

Appalachian Cast Products employee

Metalworking technology, upstream metal manufacturing and downstream metal manufacturing employ over 2,100 people in the Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA MSA. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2013).

Virginia ranks #2 for the overall tax burden of mature labor-intensive manufacturing firms (Tax Foundation – Location Matters, 2015).

Who's Here?

Key Washington County Employers

General EngineeringPrecision Machining/Hydraulic Cylinders100-199
Appalachian Cast ProductsDie Castings~100
Metal Castings Co.Custom Molded Aluminum Alloy Castings50-99
Wolf Hills FabricatorsMetal Fabrication50-99
Central Machine ShopMachine Shop1-19
Glade Machine Co.Machine Shop1-19
Virginia Metals, Inc.Metal Fabricating & Stamping1-19
Virginia LaserPrecision Laser Cutting1-19

Washington County is also home to several companies that are complementary to and supported by its metal manufacturing industries. These include:

Utility Trailer of Glade SpringDry Freight Trailers550-599
Columbus McKinnon CorpChain Hoists200-249
HAPCO American FlagpoleAluminum Flag Poles150-199
Hirschfeld Industries BridgeSteel Plate Fabricator50-99
Zenith Fuel SystemsCarburetors20-49
Michael Ferracci Appalachian Cast Products


Back in 1999, when Michael Ferracci, President of Appalachian Cast Products, was looking for a location for his new business, he chose Washington County over North Carolina because of his love of the region. ACP now has close to 100 employees and has recently expanded its facility into an adjacent 57,000 sq ft building. The company does high-pressure molding, die-casting, machining, and some finishing work and is considering adding other services to provide even greater value to its customers.


Wages for workers in this industry are low to competitive in the Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol VA/TN MSA compared with wages in similar markets.

Comparative Wages for Metal Manufacturing

OccupationsMSAChicago, ILPittsburgh, PACleveland, OHUS Average
Heat Treating Equipment Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic$14.54$18.28$19.71$17.77$18.47
Sheet Metal Workers$19.74$35.83$30.35$24.27$23.95
Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic$14.84$17.31$18.61$16.51$16.62
Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic$17.19$19.19$16.68$17.33$18.31
Molding, Coremaking, and Casting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic$11.72$17.45$16.95$14.70$15.15

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015

Transportation & Logistics

Located midway between the northern and southern U.S., Washington County has convenient interstate access to 40% of the U.S. population within a day’s drive. In addition to its convenient and efficient highway system, the region is connected by rail, air, and sea. Learn more

Education & Training

Washington County’s community colleges and universities provide a number of programs to train workers for the metal manufacturing industry.

Virginia Tech FIRE

Virginia Tech’s Foundry Institute for Research and Education (VT FIRE) is one of only 24 colleges in the U.S. that offer a foundry program. About 30-40 degrees are awarded in this program every year.

East Tennessee State University offers undergraduate degrees in industrial technology, manufacturing technology, and product development.

Contact Us

  • Whitney Bonham
    Whitney BonhamDirector of Economic Development and Community Relations
    Tel. 276-525-1300