- Furniture production is starting up at a number of sites in the Southeast, spurred on by a combination of improving consumer sentiment, state and local government incentives, and former industry executives itching to get back into wood manufacturing.

Kith Furniture says it has begun manufacturing bedroom furniture in Haleyville, AL. The company's 100-employee factory adjoins that of Door Components LLC, a kitchen cabinetry manufacturer under the Kith Kitchens brand name since 2002. Calls to the Haleyville Chamber of Commerce and Door Components - which was taking calls for Kith Furniture, confirmed the development. Furniture Today reported Kith Furniture was started up by Craig and Ken Smith, former execs with Harden Manufacturing.

Last week Bruce Cochrane, former head of Cochrane Furniture, announced the launch of Lincolnton Furniture, with plans to open a 130-employee factory in Lincolnton, NC.

In Davie County, NC, the Gold Leaf Foundation confirmed to Woodworking Network that it has secured a $2.5 million grant August 4, known as "Operation Top Drawer," for an unspecified furniture manufacturing operation in Davie County, NC. "The grant is to buy and then lease wood manufacturing machinery," said a spokesman for the organization. The state of North Carolina passed a tax credit of $168,000 in June for an unnamed 550-employee manufacturing plant, reports the Winston Salem Journal, with speculation that company could be Ashley Furniture.

U.S. furniture factories revivingNorth Carolina's Gold Leaf Foundation, established to help the state transition from a tobacco dependent economy, also approved a $1 million grant to assist Graham County in supporting Stanley Furniture, the county's largest private employer, with the retention of 468 jobs. Stanley consolidated manufacturing operations at its Robbinsville, NC plant, its only domestic manufacturing facility and home to the Young America furniture line.

In a structure similar to Davie County, the funds buy equipment that will be leased to Stanley to assist with retooling the production capabilities. Stanley will invest an additional $5.4 million as part of a broader facility improvement plan to generate efficiencies and cost savings at the Robbinsville plant. 



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