McCONNELLSVILLE, N.Y. - Once again, Harden Furniture is in the news.
Phil Ison, CEO of Ison Furniture manufacturing, who acquired Harden's equipment and assets and has a contract to buy its McConnellsville, N.Y. plant, said he is planning to move Harden's production to North Carolina by the end of the year. The move could create up to 200 jobs in North Carolina.
Harden Furniture, which began production in 1844, is one of the oldest furniture manufacturers in the United States. The company's future has been in limbo since February 1 when its assets were in a foreclosure auction to Big Shoulders Capital, a loan firm based in Northbrook, Illinois. After closing the plant briefly, Harden announced weeks later that it would resume limited production - recalling 82 employees back to work.
But on May 29 Big Shoulders suspended the company's operations - affecting 100 workers. Longtime Harden leader Greg Harden was also terminated as CEO. Harden remains on the advisory board, focusing on building the company's sales.
More employees were then recalled last month when Ison acquired the company's assets.
Moving to North Carolina would be the company's first departure from New York, where it has built residential furniture for 174 years.
The move would obviously put many of the plant's current workers out of a job. Around 175 employees worked at the plant earlier this year.

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