August 31, 1998

Lila White
(804) 692-3110

Wyatt Bassett, Executive VP
Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company
(540) 238-2200
Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Governor Gilmore Announces Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Expansion
-- Governor announces 373 jobs saved in Smyth County; 96 new jobs for Southwest Virginia - -

Richmond - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company will expand its Virginia operations into Smyth County, investing $8.1 million in Southwest Virginia. The company has agreed to acquire Virginia House Furniture, a longstanding employer in Smyth County. Vaughan-Bassett will retain the existing 373 jobs at two Virginia House Furniture plants and create an additional 96 new jobs in Smyth County over the next three years. Virginia successfully competed with North and South Carolina for the project.

"Vaughan-Bassett's decision to locate its new furniture manufacturing plant in Smyth County is great news for Virginia" said Governor Gilmore. "This decision will allow over 350 hard working Virginians to keep their jobs. The additional jobs and investment promised by this company prove that our existing industry is a key ingredient to our economic development success."

Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company has been producing wood bedroom furniture since 1919 when it was founded in Galax by B.C. Vaughan and J.D. Bassett. The company currently employs 1,400 in three states. Vaughan-Bassett will acquire two buildings in the Town of Atkins that total 400,000 feet. Counting wholly-owned subsidiaries, Vaughan-Bassett's net sales for 1998 are projected to exceed $130 million. This sales figure does not include the acquisition of Virginia House Furniture.

"We needed to expand our production facilities and wanted to stay in Virginia," said John D. Bassett, III, President and CEO of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture. "The acquisition of Virginia House Furniture allows us to increase our manufacturing capacity immediately at a location we feel is an excellent fit for our company. We were especially pleased with the quality of the workforce in this area and look forward to expanding our operations in Smyth County, Virginia."

Governor Gilmore approved a grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund worth $150,000 to assist Smyth County with this project. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Mount Rogers Partnership and Smyth County assisted the company with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.

"Southwest Virginia's quality workforce, excellent transportation system and high quality of life have helped Vaughan-Bassett become one of the nation's premier furniture manufacturers," said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry DuVal. "This new location will allow them to maintain their momentum as they grow their business."

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