Craig Greening with the Jackson County Developmental Center (JCDC) joined the Ripley Rotary on Wednesday, Aug. 14 to discuss the new woodworking facility recently opened in Ravenswood.
In discussions with others on ways to bring something new to the JCDC table, Greening said woodworking was the topic that kept coming up.
According to Greening, JCDCs efforts in the recycling business and the returns on it are pennies and nickles compared to what could be brought in with woodworking.
“If we could make furniture, we could talk significantly different dollar amounts,” Greening said.
Greening’s love for woodworking started when he was just 12-years-old. His grandfather sparked that love leading him to create several pieces of furniture for his own home, one piece being a live edge coffee table.
JCDC’s mission is to provide quality support for life training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities, which is exactly what the new facility is doing.
“We’re taking a very simple design, a slab of wood, putting some, what we think are a good design and a variety of designs of legs on it, and offering them for sale,” Greening said.
The new facility employees a team of five who are currently working on several tables. Greening said it takes time to complete a table. It involves a lot of wait time due to the finishes that are applied.
“As our sales start building up, I hope to hire another one to three employees by the end of the year,” Greening said.
Tables that have been completed are in show rooms around the area including Well’s Furniture in Charleston as well as Frontier Furniture in Ravenswood.
“Everything is unique,” Greening said. “Anytime you take a piece of wood, even if it’s from the same tree or even the same slab, it’s different. Everything you buy (from JCDC Woodworks) is literally one of a kind.”
The wood used for the tables is all basic eastern hardwoods; such as walnut, cherry, and ash.
Urban Timber in Columbus, Ohio, is a company that works with arborists to prepare trees for sale. This is one location that JCDC partners with to get wood to use for their projects.
Greening said anytime you work with wood, there are scraps or small pieces that are not large enough to be used for furniture. To save on waste, the woodworkers use those pieces to create other items that will be sold. Some pieces are turned into mantel clocks while others are pieced together to create the shape of West Virginia. These items can be purchased in their show room at the Ravenswood location as well as through their online site.
For more information, call 304-273-9311, check out their website at jcdcwoodworks.com, or visit their showroom at 510 Washington Street in Ravenswood during the hours of 1-6 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday.
In other business:
• Rotarian Chuck Conner returned from a nine-week-long motorcycle trip, traveling a total of 8,300 miles. He reported it was a get-away that was long overdue. Conner will be a speaker for a future Rotary meeting where he will fill everyone in on his trip.
• The Rotary’s Ford Drive fundraiser will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7 at I-77 Ford. Funds raised will be used for the Jackson General Hospital Foundation Capital Fund and the annual Adopt-a-Family program.
• Nov. 9 will be the date for the annual JGH Gala.