Photo courtesy of Irontown Homes


Building or buying capacity: Manufacturing consolidation, relocation and expansion is driven by reductions in workforce, initiatives to consolidate operations to improve workflow and productivity, or moving to sites to lower-cost labor or nearer raw materials or markets. Despite, or because of, the downturn, the reformation of plants continued apace the last 18 months.


Recent Expansions
HomeStretch LLC, Nettleton, MS
HomeStretch set in motion last year plans to start
up operations in a former cabinetry factory, aiming
to hire 140 people over four years. Monroe County,
MS provided $1.5 million; the Mississippi
Development Authority $298,000 and the
Appalachian Regional Commission $240,000.
Read more.

Miller Cabinet, Plain City, OH
An added 11,500 square feet of plant space brought 53
more workers (tripling its workforce) to privately-held,
27-employee Miller Cabinet Co. A 45-percent $190,945
Ohio job creation tax credit led Miller Cabinet to spend
$525,000 on expanding its cabinetry, commercial
casework and millwork operation. Read more.

Lane Furniture, Tupelo, MS
Expanding operations, Lane plans for 186 new jobs,
with an assist from the Mississippi Development
Authority‘s Manufacturers Job Rebate Program. Lane
and American Furniture Co. shared a $650,000 grant
to upgrade lighting, cooling/heating systems, aided by
the Franklin Furniture Institute. Read more.

Kitchen Magic, Nazareth, PA 
Kitchen Magic invested $5.6 million to bring 189
jobs over three years to a new 62,000-square-foot,
state-of-the-art plant and showroom, returning
after 30 years in New Jersey. The Pennsylvania
Department of Community and Economic
Development provided $1.48 million in funding.
Read more.

Bassett Furniture, Bassett, VA 
Bassett announced in April it would reopen its
Newton, NC, plant, with staffing from an existing
430-employee facility and new hires. “We are elated
to be able to take advantage of a strong workforce in
Newton,” said Robert Spilman Jr., president and CEO.
Read more. 

MasterBrand Cabinets, Jasper, IN
Kitchen and bath cabinetry firm MasterBrand Cabinets
reconfigured its 200-employee plant in creating 334 new
jobs with $3.75 million in investment planned by the
Fortune Brands division. In August 2010 MasterBrand
revealed it is supplying a new Martha Stewart cabinetry
line at The Home Depot, beginning September 2010.
Read more.

Drawer Box Specialties, Orange, CA
DBS opened a 51,500-square-foot manufacturing and
distribution center in Grand Prairie, TX, in 2009. The
expansion helped cut shipping costs to customers in the
eastern United States by more than 40 percent, plus reduce
delivery times significantly.

Northern Contours, Mendota Heights, MN

In the last year, Northern Contours has increased its number
of representatives by 50 percent and has expanded its
geographic footprint to include the entire U.S. West Coast
as well as five Canadian provinces.


IRONTOWN HOUSING CO. INC.

, Spanish Fork, UT, builds high quality energy efficient homes by high profile architects and designers, inside a factory. Within its 60,000-square-foot climate-controlled facility, which opened in March, all resources are centrally located, allowing Irontown to focus on its strict quality control process, precision scheduling and material waste prevention. To accommodate large gantries for construction of two-story homes, the ceilings are set at 45 feet. The approach cuts down weather and material delays, vandalism and cost overages.

Both structural and exterior work and wood interiors — right down to the cabinetry, flooring, architectural moulding and window casements — are built inside Irontown’s plant. Homes are 95 percent complete at the factory when they are broken into sections and transported on up to eight semi-trucks to be married to their foundation — a process can that can be completed in a day, with detail finished in a few weeks.

A million dollar home shipped to Beverly Hills July 14, featuring hand-hewn cabinetry and built-in woodwork, exposed ceiling beams, hardwood doors and case mouldings, custom painting, majestic fireplace, exotic granite countertops, custom granite showers, upgraded insulation and Pella windows, along with a tile roof.

Irontown says city building code bodies like the speed. “Municipalities are realizing we are a help to them and to the construction process. With tight space constraints on so many California properties, building a home can be a nightmare for the entire neighborhood. Our homes are set on the site in one day instead of having a noisy, messy construction site for 12 - 15 months,” says Jason Valgardson, Irontown’s vice president.

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