FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 1999

Lila White
www.thedigitaldominion.com
(804) 692-3110


Robin Campbell
Stanley Furniture Company, Inc.
(540) 627-2245
Jill Lawrence
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
Governor Gilmore Announces 500 New Jobs in Henry County
--Henry scores big with expansions of two major furniture makers--


Richmond - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that furniture makers Stanley Furniture Company and American of Martinsville will expand their manufacturing facilities in Henry County. Stanley Furniture, a Henry County-based industry leader in residential wood furniture, will create 300 new jobs through a $15 million investment. American of Martinsville, a world leader in contract furniture manufacturing, will create 200 new jobs and invest $5.2 million in their expansion. Approximately 200 jobs will remain in Virginia as a result of the company’s expansion plans.

"Existing industry remains the pulse of Virginia’s manufacturing sector," Governor Gilmore said. "These respected furniture companies will continue to reinvest in Henry County and create more quality jobs for Virginians. I am delighted the Commonwealth was able to assist both of these outstanding corporate citizens with their decisions to expand here."

Established in 1924, Stanley Furniture Company, Inc. manufactures wood furniture targeted at the upper-medium price niche of the residential market. Stanley enjoyed a record year in 1998. Net sales of $247.4 million were an increase of 16.7 percent over 1997. Net income was $14.5 million, compared to $11.6 million in 1997. Stanley employs nearly 3,000 people at its four plants, including 1,431 at its Stanleytown plant. The company will open a new manufacturing facility in the Bowles Industrial Park in Henry County and will be dedicated to producing Stanley’s home office furniture line.

"We believe this new plant will be the largest, most modern manufacturing facility for home office furniture in the United States," Stanley Furniture Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Albert L. Prillaman said. "These expansions will enable Stanley to keep its commitment of shipping products to our retail customers in three weeks or less from the date of order, even in the face of rapidly increasing demand for the products affected. They also will enable us to improve product quality and production efficiency."

American of Martinsville, a wholly owned subsidiary of LADD Furniture, Inc., is a world leader in contract furniture sales for the hospitality, assisted-living and government sectors. It holds more than 30 percent of the hospitality business in the United States. The company has won LADD’s Chairman’s Award for best operating performance the past four years. American employs 1,300 people at its plants in Martinsville and Chilhowie. Company officials today unveiled plans to purchase the former Tri-Wood facility in Henry County and eventually place American’s upholstery department in the facility.

"We think the Martinsville-Henry County area is the best place for American of Martinsville to expand its operations," American of Martinsville President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Haley said. "We appreciate the work ethic and sense of teamwork our employees have here. We look forward to a great new facility which will enable us to provide even better service for our customers worldwide."

"Virginia’s skilled woodworkers will have immense job opportunities with both American of Martinsville and Stanley Furniture Company," Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal added. "We commend these renowned manufacturers for allowing the Commonwealth to help them grow."

Governor Gilmore approved grants of $600,000 to each company from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Henry County with site preparation for the two projects. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Henry County, and the Patrick Henry Development Council assisted both companies with their decisions. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.


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