Big Ugly Woodshop

The Big Ugly Woodshop is located in the Big Ugly Community Center, a former elementary school building where an organization called Step by Step administers a variety of important programs related to education, health and nutrition, child safety, and community development. The community center is situated along Big Ugly Creek—a scenic, peaceful stretch of Lincoln County, West Virginia about an hour’s drive from the county seat. The woodshop was formed after the Big Ugly Community Center and Step by Step entered into a collaborative partnership with Rediscover Appalachia, an arts and culture based social enterprise of Coalfield Development Corporation.
The Big Ugly Woodshop provides job training and nurtures personal development using Coalfield Development’s signature 33-6-3 model. Crew members work in the woodshop for 33 hours a week, attend community college for 6 hours a week, and spend 3 hours each week engaged in personal development activities involving themes ranging from financial planning to health and wellness. The 33-6-3 model enables crew members to gain vital on-the-job training while earning a livable wage and completing an Associate’s Degree in about two years.
While teaching crew members woodworking skills, the Big Ugly Woodshop produces a conservation line consisting of bee boxes, bat boxes, and a variety of birdhouses. Our product line will soon expand to include items such as compost bins, raised beds, and garden stakes. These types of wood products are a perfect fit for the Big Ugly Community Center’s beautiful country setting, greenhouse, and community garden programs, as well as for Coalfield Development, with its emphasis on environmental stewardship.
Coalfield Development also places a heavy emphasis on the values of Gumption, Grit, and Grace. Nowhere are these values more evident than at the Big Ugly Woodshop, where our crew chief and crew members regularly overcome tremendous obstacles in order to thrive as woodworkers, scholars, community role models, and valued members of the Coalfield Development and Rediscover Appalachia teams. These inspired, resilient women and men have chosen to face big challenges head-on, reframing problems as opportunities and transforming hardship into beauty.

If you’d like to learn more about us or place an order, please email eaustin@coalfield-development.org.


Need a custom quote?

Our dedicated team is ready to make it happen, from custom cabinetry to handcrafted West Virginia signs made from turn of the century hardwoods. Contact us today.

Want to be a wholesaler?

Not only do we focus on providing quality handcrafted goods to our customers, we also look to create lasting relationships with distributors and retailers across the region. Contact us today.