Case Studies Carry-On Trailer
Carry-On Trailer Finds Creative Talent Solutions in the Commonwealth
Seeking Market Growth from Virginia
Carry-On Trailer is a manufacturer of steel and aluminum utility trailers serving major wholesale customers such as Tractor Supply Company, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Trailer World, Trailers Plus, Northern Tool + Equipment, and a network of privately-owned dealers. Since its establishment of a manufacturing operation in Westmoreland County in 2004, the company’s 85,000-square-foot facility has experienced a steady increase in product demand.
The next phase of Carry-On Trailer’s growth entailed extending its market reach into the Northeast and Canada. The expansion would require additional welding talent to support increased production, and the company needed assurance that its workforce needs could be met from its home base in Westmoreland County. Counting on the Northern Neck region’s spirit of collaboration, company executives reached out to their local and regional economic development partners for support in devising a creative workforce solution in the area.
The Virginia Solution
A Customized Welding Talent Pipeline
The Northern Neck of Virginia boasts a workforce of more than 23,000, served by the region’s premier educational institutions and industry-responsive training programs. In response to Carry-On Trailer’s need for a reliable talent pipeline, the Northern Neck Planning District Commission began mobilizing key players at the local, state, and federal level to build a streamlined program that could enhance the region’s existing workforce assets.
The result was the Westmoreland Workforce Training Center (WWTC), a custom, long-term talent solution established by the Northern Neck Planning District Commission and with support from Westmoreland County, the Northern Neck Chesapeake Bay Region Partnership, Carry-On Trailer, and others. The Center offers training courses in welding, industrial machining, and milling that prepare local residents for job openings in the community, and is administered by the Rappahannock Community College’s Workforce and Community Development Center.
With funding from the GO Virginia program and the USDA, Virginia’s network of proactive economic development practitioners was able to establish an innovative public-private partnership that will serve the companies and citizens of the Northern Neck for decades to come. Carry-On Trailer’s newfound ability to access skilled welding professionals gave them confidence in a regional talent pool for the future.
Workforce Initiative = Win for Westmoreland County
After also considering Georgia and Pennsylvania, Carry-On Trailer announced in November 2018 that it would invest $1.6 million to expand its operation in Westmoreland County, creating 42 new jobs. The company will continue to benefit from the region’s competitive operating costs and high quality of life, as well as a future pipeline of skilled welders supplied by the new Westmoreland Training Center and its dedicated economic development partners.
In 2019, Carry-On Trailer’s strong Virginia workforce and robust demand for its products fueled its ability to invest nearly $1 million in facility expansions and equipment enhancements. The company is on track to meet its investment goals and support continued growth in Westmoreland County for years to come.
“Carry-On Trailer is grateful for the assistance of Westmoreland County, the Northern Neck Planning District Commission, and the Commonwealth of Virginia for helping us meet our current demand for utility trailers and expand into new markets,” said Carry-On Trailer President Dana Goff.