FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2005

Ellen Qualls
www.governor.virginia.gov
(804) 786-2211, x2379


Phillip D. Miller
Howard Miller
(616) 772-9131
Christie Collins
VEDP
(804) 371-4074
RIDGEWAY FURNITURE COMPANY TO EXPAND IN HENRY COUNTY
-Governor Warner announces $6 million investment, 25 new and 109 saved jobs-


RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that Ridgeway Furniture Company will invest $6 million to add a curio cabinet division to its Henry County facility. Winning the project retains 109 positions for the Commonwealth and adds an additional 25 jobs. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina and Michigan for the project. The Ridgeway Clock Company, a division of Pulaski Furniture Corporation, was acquired by Howard Miller in November 2004.

“Ridgeway Clocks has long been a valued manufacturer in Henry County,” said Governor Warner. “Howard Miller’s acquisition and expansion is vital to its continued vitality in the region and will provide much needed employment and diversification.”

The Ridgeway Clock Company began as The Gravely Furniture Company in 1926 and started producing grandfather clocks exclusively in 1960, making Ridgeway the oldest continuously produced grandfather clock brand in the United States. Howard Miller also was founded in 1926, and while originally focusing on the manufacture of wall and mantel clocks, in 1989 Howard Miller began creating collectors cabinets with the same attention to detail and craftsmanship inherent in their clockmaking. The Ridgeway Furniture Company will continue production, retaining 109 positions at the Henry County facility, and add production of Howard Miller’s curio cabinet division to the facility, adding 25 new positions.

“Miller is committed to domestic manufacturing,” said Philip D. Miller, CEO of Howard Miller. “We selected Virginia because of the quality of the Ridgeway workforce, the availability of highly skilled furniture woodworkers in the area and the tremendous cooperation of both local and state economic development officials in Virginia. They contacted us within minutes of learning of our interest.”


The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Henry County to secure the project for Virginia. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $50,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will support the project with training and retraining assistance through its Workforce Services Program.

“We are ecstatic that Howard Miller has chosen to place this production line at the facility in Ridgeway,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Paula Burnette. “Ridgeway clocks are known worldwide as the best and I have no doubt that the curio cabinet line will reach the same level of respect. This is a wonderful day for the current employees, the future employees, and all the people of Henry County.”

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