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Statewide: Western region, May 2014

STATEWIDE Western Region

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On April 1, Stanley Furniture said it will close its Robbinsville plant because its Young America line of youth beds and cribs produced there “could not achieve an acceptable level of revenue within an adequate time frame to assure sustainable profitability,” CEO Glenn Prillaman said in a statement. It’s a blow to advocates of reshoring, moving manufacturing back to the U.S. The company, now based in High Point, moved production to Robbinsville from overseas in 2010, spending $9 million to modernize the factory (“Turnabout,” March 2013). The goal was to improve quality and make delivery faster for Young America customers, who generated 40% of the company’s $96.9 million of sales last year. It didn’t pan out, so Prillaman said the company will focus on its Stanley brand, which is profitable — and made in Indonesia and Vietnam. The publicly traded company lost $12.6 million last year. Stanley’s 400 employees made up about 13% of the workforce in mountainous Graham County, about 90 miles west of Asheville.


OLD FORT — XO.STEEL will create 30 jobs and invest $350,000 over three years in an 8,000-square-foot manufacturing plant that could be expanded to triple its size. The new Raleigh-based company will produce a protective surface application for steel products. Average annual pay for the jobs will be $37,067, 21% higher than McDowell County’s average. It will get a $90,000 grant from the state’s One North Carolina Fund if it meets job-creation and investment goals.

BOONE — Sheri Noren Everts will become chancellor of Appalachian State University July 1. The Nebraska native was provost and vice president for academic affairs at Illinois State University since 2008. She succeeds Kenneth Peacock, who joined the school’s Walker College of Business’ Department of Accounting in 1983 and became chancellor in July 2004.

FOREST CITY — Bonita Manufacturing Products will create 50 jobs and invest more than $2.8 million over three years in a paper-shopping bag plant here. The Portland, Ore.-based company also makes gift wrap and containers for retail and commercial uses. Jobs will pay an average annual wage of $32,020, close to Rutherford County’s $31,347. The company is eligible for a performance-based grant from the state’s One North Carolina Fund for up to $75,000.

ASHEVILLE — N.C. Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt died March 6 after a brief battle with cancer. He was 67. The Buncombe County native served five terms in the N.C. Senate and more than 11 terms in the N.C. House of Representatives. His legislative career began in 1979, when he was appointed to replace his mother, state Rep. Mary Nesbitt, who died in office.

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