Made in the USA label losing another manufacturer - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Made in the USA label losing another manufacturer

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HUDSON, NC (WBTV) -

Another furniture company is sending manufacturing jobs overseas. La-Z-Boy, Incorporated has announced it is shutting down a factory in  Caldwell County that made hardwood furniture under the Kincaid brand name.

The shutdown will take place next year and put more than 100 people out of work. In a news release, officials said they regretted the closing but needed to restructure the company and as part of that would now transition the casegood manufacturing into an all-import model.

In other words, manufacture the products overseas.

"It's rough," said Trey Haas who has worked there on and off for the past five years.

Arch Hare has 21 years with the company, and while he said he is disappointed with the move, he figured it was bound to happen sooner or later. "But it still hurts," he said.

The company will continue its upholstery division and a distribution center could expand under the changes being made but most of the 100 people being laid off will have to find work elsewhere, neighboring businesses said they likely will feel the effects.

At the Dari Frez restaurant across the street, owner Chad Moore said they will feel the effects but have been preparing for more shutdowns since a plant down the street closed a few years back.

"I think with all we've done to branch out we should be all right," he said. "We still hate to see this place go, though." Caldwell County Economic Development Commission officials said that while the closure is not good news, the county is in better shape to absorb the job loss than it has been in years.

"We are experiencing the best job growth since 2008," said Deborah Murray of the EDC.  "We are also working to diversify so closures like this don't hit as hard." Still, it is not where officials want it to be.

The unemployment rate is officially 7.1% but it is believed to be  much higher because the figures do not take into account everyone who has stopped looking or whose benefits have run out.

Officials praised Kincaid and La-Z-Boy for trying to keep the casegoods manufacturing in Caldwell County. "Most operations like that left long ago," said Murray. 

The company will begin the transition this fall with the full closure taking effect in the second quarter of 2015.

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