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Big Sandy Grows with some help from Fluor-BWXT Grant

FRANKLIN FURNACE – Earlier this month Fluor-BWXT presented a $25,000 grant from the Fluor-BWXT Community Commitment Fund to retail superstore Big Sandy based out of Scioto County.  This furniture, appliance and electronics superstore chain recently celebrated their 64th anniversary and have opened two additional stores in Dublin and Columbus, Ohio.  Big Sandy now has 14 retail outlets and two large distribution centers.  The Fluor-BWXT grant was part of a larger investment that helped add 80,000 square feet to their Franklin Furnace distribution center which now moves upwards of 100,000 pieces of inventory at any time.

Founded in Ashland, Kentucky in 1953 by Robert Van Hoose Sr., Big Sandy has grown from one location and a handful of employees to operations in Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio with approximately 700 workers.   The company has three major segments including retail, wholesale and a trucking company with employees holding ownership of the retail company.   On any given day Big Sandy is delivering $300,000 - $500,000 in merchandise to local consumers.

Fluor-BWXT Nuclear Operations Director Tim Poe presents Big Sandy COO Laura Timberlake with a check for $25,000 from the Community Commitment Fund.  From left, Fluor-BWXT Public Affairs Manager Jeff Wagner; Fluor-BWXT Commitment Plan Committee Chair Tim Poe; Southern Ohio Port Authority Chair Bud Sayre; Ross County Economic Development Director and JEDISO Board Member Chris Manegold; Laura Timberlake; and Natalie Roberts with the Southern Ohio Port Authority.

“Creating jobs and helping successful and small startup businesses build our regional economy is why Fluor-BWXT introduced the Community Commitment Plan in 2011,” said Fluor-BWXT Nuclear Operations Director and Commitment Plan Steering Committee Chair Tim Poe.

“Big Sandy is just another great news story in our community.  I applaud Big Sandy Chief Operating Officer (COO) Laura Timberlake and the Big Sandy management team for investing in this area and their employees while expanding their footprint in the Ohio market.”

“Big Sandy is in an excellent position to grow in this market,” Big Sandy COO Timberlake said. “That’s why the expansion of our distribution center was so critical.  With two new stores and a third one on the way we had to expand and upgrade our space to safely and efficiently move product from our suppliers out to our customers.”

Timberlake said Big Sandy is showing strong performance in the region and optimistic going forward.

“This is our third year of double digit returns outpacing our competition in our respective markets.  Together with our employees and support we get from our area economic development groups like the SOPA (Southern Ohio Port Authority) and JEDISO (Joint Economic Development Initiative of Southern Ohio) who helped us apply for the Fluor-BWXT grant, we are confident of continued healthy financial results.” 

Through a partnership with the local communities, Fluor-BWXT supports grant requests from Pike, Ross, Scioto and Jackson counties looking to grow their businesses and add quality jobs to this region.  Each year Fluor-BWXT invests more than $500,000 locally through grants and related business support.

“We are no longer four rural counties marketing ourselves individually but a metro market of 220,000 people,” JEDISO member Chris Manegold from Ross County said.   “And with that kind of metro market we can leverage our skilled and diverse workforce along with our infrastructure to help build new business and grow existing companies.”

According to JEDISO Fluor-BWXT grants totaling $881,000 have led to $5.5M in matching funds that in turn generated $186M in local investment.  The results are more than 830 jobs created with more than 5,000 jobs retained across the region.

According to SOPA Executive Director Jason Kester, “We’re happy to assist Big Sandy expand their headquarters and distribution center in the JEDISO region.”  The appliance superstore recently completed a 80,000 square foot addition to their distribution center.  This expansion was also eco-friendly as they’ve added new LED lighting and they recycle cardboard, plastic and foam used in shipping operations.

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About Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth LLC

Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) and BWX Technologies, Inc. (BWXT) (NYSE: BWXT), two world-class companies with significant Ohio experience, formed Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth LLC (FBP) to address the decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) needs at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Portsmouth Site in Pike County, Ohio. CH2M, another global leader in industrial and environmental projects, provides support. Fluor-BWXT employs 1,900 workers who bring unparalleled experience, insights, and lessons learned from across the DOE complex. The Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth mandate is to clean up the Portsmouth Site safely and compliantly, provide strong uranium stewardship and partner with local communities to achieve a sustainable economic future. For more information, visit www.fbportsmouth.com.