Steelcase to Close High Point Furniture Plant, 230 Layoffs
May 7, 2014 | 4:58 pm UTC
Steelcase to Close High Point Furniture Plant, 230 Layoffs

Steelcase to Close High Point Furniture Plant, 230 LayoffsGRAND RAPIDS - Steelcase said  it will close its furniture plant in High Point, NC, over the next two years, resulting in the layoff of 230 workers. The contract furniture giant made the announcement May 6.

According to the company, the wind down of Steelcase's High Point operations will occur over the next 18 to 24 months, and the workload transferred to the company's other North American facilities and a few outside suppliers. As of May 7, no WARN notice of the closure was listed on the North Carolina Workforce/Department of Commerce website.

"We regret the impact of our decision on approximately 230 Steelcase employees and we will be doing everything we can to support their transition to other employment, including providing severance and career transition support,” said the statement by Steelcase.

"Even in relatively good economic times, we need to make difficult decisions in order to stay ahead."

The company cited competitive pressures for the need to reduce excess manufacturing capacity and control costs. Steelcase (NYSE: SCS) recorded $3.0 billion of revenue and net income of $87.7 million for fiscal 2014, while posting an operating loss of $165.0 million.

According to High Point Enterprise, Steelcase operated the facility in High Point for 30 years.

Founded in 1912 and headquartered in Grand Rapids, Steelcase has approximately 10,000 workers. A manufacturer of furniture for the office, healthcare, government and education markets, the company's brands include: Coalesse, Designtex, Details, Nurture, PolyVision, Steelcase and Turnstone.

Last year the company also closed its 664,000-square-foot Corporate Development Center. With no buyer in sight, Steelcase attempted to donate it to a non-profit group for use as a STEM-focused education hub for students. That plan received a setback in March when Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder denied the $5.5 million start-up funding for the project.

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