In its 15 years of operation, Timber Wolf Forest Products has evolved from selling a handful of furniture components to a small group of large furniture companies in the area, to a company with a vast catalog of products and wide range of customers.
Tender Care Products was founded in the early 1980s, when a local nursing home asked a businessman in the furniture industry to design a lap pillow for wheelchairs, and the first wheelchair-specific lap pillow was born, as was Tender Care Products.
More than 30 years later, TCP is still making those lap pillows, though now there are quite a few designs, as well as an entire line of products including mattresses, wheelchair armrests, bedrail pads and more.
A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge brushed aside objections Friday to paying bonuses to seven Furniture Brands International executives but capped the total possible payments at $3.5 million.
The top executives at Furniture Brands International should not be rewarded with millions of dollars in bonuses after leaving the company’s pension fund significantly short and terminating some retiree benefits just before filing for bankruptcy protection, the U.S. bankruptcy trustee wrote in an objection filed on Wednesday.
The Kerr Drug store in downtown Lenoir could see a few changes as ownership shifts Nov. 1 to Walgreens, but nothing major in the near term, a company spokesman said.
While the Affordable Care Act is the sticking point behind the shutdown of the federal government, some in Lenoir were looking for technical answers Thursday on just what that health reform law would mean for them and their families.
The building that soon will become the new headquarters for Greer Laboratories is a frump of a building.
But renovation plans call for transforming it into a gleaming, glass showplace.
The Caldwell County Economic Development Commission endorsed on Tuesday the applications of three companies seeking incentives packages for projects that could bring up to 150 new jobs.
Northern Caldwell County once again may be seeing a housing boom.
That's good news for the county's tax revenue, but it also means that future forest fires in the mountains could become more dangerous and expensive to fight.
In an iconic brick building in downtown Hudson, one company is bringing a history of textile manufacturing into the future.
The company is Outdura, a subsidiary of Sattler AG, an Austria-based textiles manufacturer. The building is the former Shuford Mills facility at 447 Main St. in Hudson, built in the early 1900s.
Furniture Brands International must deposit nearly $1 million into an escrow account that would be used if the company falls behind in paying its utility bills, a federal bankruptcy judge ordered Wednesday.
Marty Berquist moved to Caldwell County from Virginia four years ago, when he married his wife, who works for Caldwell County Schools.
Since then Berquist, whose background is in sales of motorcycles, ATVs and generators, has been looking for work from Boone to Hickory, and he came to Thursday's "Caldwell is Hiring" at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center looking for something more reliable than selling belongings on eBay.
“You’ve got to get out and beat the bushes,” Berquist said. “So that’s what I’m here doing.”
Caldwell County’s unemployment rate dropped to 8.9 percent in August, the lowest since October 2008, the N.C. Labor and Economic Analysis Division reported Wednesday.
But part of the improvement may be due to the labor force declining by almost 900 people. A shrinking labor force can be a sign of the long-term unemployed giving up and dropping out of the labor force.
The two companies that have bid to take over Furniture Brands International both have sweetened their offers during the past week, but the second bid is a better choice by far, the committee representing creditors said in a court filing Monday.
As many as 1,000 people seeking jobs are expected to come Thursday afternoon to the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center to meet with 21 employers seeking to fill more than 550 jobs at the sixth "Caldwell is Hiring."
Furniture companies will have a strong presence as always at the event, but the newer industries and companies that have come into the area will be looking for new employees as well, including Google, Woodgrain Millwork, Bakers Waste Equipment, Bemis and Lubrimetal Corp., said Deborah Murray, executive director of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission.
“We probably have a greater variety of jobs and skill requirements and pay scales than we’ve ever had before,” Murray said. “It just seems to be a very thorough, diverse group of just about every kind of job.
While opponents of the president's health care reform law fight in Washington to shut down the government if they can't eliminate funding to implement the law, local officials are gearing up for Oct. 1, when people can begin enrolling in health care plans.
While furniture is still the largest sector of manufacturing in Caldwell County, medical, biotechnology and related businesses are becoming a larger player in a diversifying economy, said Deborah Murray, executive director of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission.
“Adhezion Biomedical, Exela (Pharma Sciences) and Greer (Laboratories) are all growing and expanding, and we take great favor in promoting all manufacturing, but particularly when we’re able to help build and expand something that helps us diversify our local economy,” Murray said.
Greer Laboratories announced Monday that its new headquarters will be in the Expo building off U.S. 321 adjacent to Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp., a short distance from its current home along Nuway Circle.
Greer, which currently has 279 employees in Caldwell County, previously announced expansion plans calling for $30 million in new investment and up to 125 new jobs over two years.
But while Greer was founded in Lenoir in 1904, it was not certain that the company would keep its headquarters here as it expanded.
Updates to a federal program for low-cost loans are dropping homebuyers in Lenoir and other small cities from eligibility in the program.
“It’s a big blow to the housing sector for the city of Lenoir,” said Tom Thuss, branch manager of Starkey Mortgage in Lenoir.
Thuss said he normally organizes six to eight of this type of U.S. Department of Agriculture loan each month. He called the changes “not a good thing for our area.”
The Lenoir City Council approved a revision Tuesday night to its guidelines for economic development incentives. If the median wage of the jobs the company is bringing will pay less than the county average, the city will not offer tax credit incentives at all, but if the median income is above the county average, incentives will be given based on number of jobs created.
Furniture Brands International Inc. has asked a federal judge to allow it to pay more than $5 million in bonuses to 55 employees, with up to $3.4 million of that going to to seven top officers, if it successfully sells its assets at auction.
The type of bankruptcy reorganization that Furniture Brands International is using is fast-moving and one that has garnered criticism and controversy lately, a law professor said.
In a traditional Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, the company filing for bankruptcy protection would either file with a restructuring plan already in place or would create the plan during the court process, with cases taking up to five years to complete. That would include a great deal of public disclosures and review of details of the restructuring plans, said Melissa Jacoby, who teaches commercial and bankruptcy law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Marty G. Waters founded Marlin Company Inc. with his mother, Linda K. Waters, in 1992, when he was the only employee, but today Marlin occupies more than 100,000 square feet and employs 30 people while producing about 1.8 million pounds of chemical products each month.
The Marlin name is a combination of the two founders, Marty and Linda, and that same family and community cohesion has pervaded the company since, now including Marty’s father and a strong presence in Lenoir.
While the state is reorganizing its economic development efforts, including eliminating funding for separate regional programs and The Rural Economic Development Center, the new structure of a public-private partnership should be more effective for communities across the state, North Carolina’s commerce secretary said during a stop in Jefferson on Thursday night.
State officials are trying to find jobs in other state prisons for employees of Western Youth Institution in Morganton, which includes some Caldwell County residents, but so far there are more people than available jobs.