Nov. 19, 2013 @ 10:29 AM

Caldwell County approves $240K for job creation

Caldwell County is willing to offer incentives of $2,000 per job to three companies that may bring a total up to 120 jobs over the next three years.

One of them is a company already operating in the county planning an expansion that could bring up to 50 jobs within the next 14 months, but county officials refer to the company only as Project Prime Time because the company says it is not ready to go public with its plans. The company is working toward a new product line. The incentives approved Monday night by the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners, which would provide $2,000 for each new job, would be the company’s second incentives package, and if the company hires all it proposes it would have more than 200 employees here, said Deborah Murray, executive director of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission.

Nov. 14, 2013 @ 11:35 AM

Optimism seen for hiring in Caldwell County for 2014

The pace of new economic development announcements has slowed in recent weeks, but 2013 still is expected to finish with more projects announced than in 2012, officials said Wednesday.

More importantly, some companies that came to Caldwell County this year are just about to ramp up hiring, so the job outlook 2014 should get off to a good start.

Nov. 10, 2013 @ 07:50 AM

Family, solidity drive Kincaid

Kincaid Furniture is not a name that’s easily missed in Caldwell County. The company has been a staple here since it was founded by members of the Kincaid family in 1946 and has seen four generations in its employ.

Steve Kincaid has worked at the company since his high school days working in the factories, starting full-time in 1970 and working his way up to president of the company. He is the third generation to run Kincaid, known as La-Z-Boy Case Goods since that company acquired Kincaid Furniture in 1988.

Nov. 08, 2013 @ 08:53 AM

Sale of Furniture Brands speeds up

Furniture Brands International Inc. has accelerated the timetable for the auction of its assets, cutting two weeks from the time for potential new bidders to complete the work needed to put together a bid.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved Furniture Brands’ request to move the auction for its assets to 10 a.m. Nov. 21 from the initial date of Dec. 10. Qualified bids now must be submitted by 9 a.m. Nov. 20, and the sale is scheduled to close on Nov. 22.

Nov. 05, 2013 @ 04:03 PM

Caldwell County hopes to lure green-technology firm

A company that may bring at least 50 full-time jobs to Caldwell County could receive a $2,000-per-job incentive from the county, and three hearings for incentives for other businesses are scheduled for next month.

The Virginia-based green-technology firm, called “Project Dawn” by the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission, would invest $12 million to begin operations and will hire up to 50 full-time employees within three years at an average salary of $38,000, EDC executive director Deborah Murray said.

Oct. 29, 2013 @ 08:36 AM

Signs of stronger economy seen at High Point Market

The High Point Market, the largest furniture trade show in the world, was a resounding success last week, local representatives of several manufacturers said Monday, attributing much of the good news to the economy recovery's promise of higher sales.

Kincaid Furniture had its best introductions at the market in years. said Max Dyer, vice president of marketing. The company saw a 6 percent increase in traffic to its showroom compared to last year's October show, slightly more of an increase than the market as a whole saw, he said.

Oct. 26, 2013 @ 08:37 AM

People and persistence key to Kincaid Insurance's 50 years

When Donald Kincaid first decided to get into the insurance business for himself, he had to take out a second mortgage on his home, and his wife, Syretha, “chewed me out pretty good,” he said.

Kincaid started out by himself selling insurance part-time, but today he owns two offices, employing nine full-time employees and one part-time. His company will celebrate its 50th anniversary at the end of this year.

The key to his company’s success? “Persistence, probably. Hard work,” Kincaid said but added that he could not have done it without his staff and family.

Oct. 20, 2013 @ 08:39 AM

Broyhill had lowest margins in Furniture Brands

Broyhill Furniture Industries had the lowest gross margin dollars among the manufacturing divisions of Furniture Brands International the past few years, according to documents the company filed earlier this month in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

But that isn't necessarily an indicator of what will happen to Broyhill plants once the bankruptcy process is completed.

Oct. 20, 2013 @ 06:54 AM

Employees, diverse products drive success at Timber Wolf

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.

Oct. 13, 2013 @ 05:37 AM

Tender Care Products manufactures comfort, security

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.

Oct. 12, 2013 @ 08:38 AM

Judge: Bonuses for Furniture Brands executives 'justified'

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.

Oct. 11, 2013 @ 08:49 AM

Furniture Brands bonus plan based on easy targets, U.S. trustee says

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.

Oct. 11, 2013 @ 08:04 AM

Kerr Drug customers won't see big changes, Walgreens says

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.

Oct. 11, 2013 @ 07:25 AM

Seminar addresses health reform questions

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.

Oct. 09, 2013 @ 07:57 AM

Greer Laboratories provides overview of headquarters plan

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.

Oct. 09, 2013 @ 07:51 AM

Caldwell County EDC endorses incentives for 3 companies, 150 jobs

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.

Oct. 06, 2013 @ 08:40 AM

Recovery in mountain housing carries risks

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.

Oct. 06, 2013 @ 04:44 AM

World-class fabrics the norm at Outdura

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.

Oct. 03, 2013 @ 07:37 PM

Furniture Brands told to set money aside for utilities

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.

Oct. 03, 2013 @ 06:30 PM

Hundreds seek jobs at 'Caldwell is Hiring'

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.”

Oct. 03, 2013 @ 06:27 AM

Caldwell County unemployment hits another low

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.

Oct. 02, 2013 @ 08:43 AM

Furniture Brands' creditors blast sale terms

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.

Oct. 02, 2013 @ 08:25 AM

More than 500 jobs available at 'Caldwell is Hiring'

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.

Sep. 29, 2013 @ 08:50 AM

Caldwell County agencies prepare for start of Obamacare

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.

Sep. 26, 2013 @ 07:00 PM

Biotech industry a harbinger of changing county economy

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.