Vanguard Furniture expands its upholstery operations to Morganton, N.C.

Upholstery and case goods manufacturer Vanguard Furniture has undertaken a $5.9 million expansion of its upholstery operations with a new plant in Morganton, North Carolina, that will bring as many as 100 new jobs to the region.

The first upholstery pieces made in the new plant started shipping in late April.

The company currently employs 680 workers in seven manufacturing facilities in Conover, North Carolina, and Hillsville, Virginia. The expansion will be its eighth manufacturing plant.

“North Carolina continues to be the global leader for furniture manufacturing,” said Gov. Roy Cooper in making the announcement. “Vanguard’s decision to expand in our state affirms that our quality of life and skilled workforce can provide a thriving business climate that brings success.”

The new manufacturing facility is in a former 163,000-square-foot former Drexel Heritage plant the company announced it purchased in Morganton earlier this year.

Vanguard Furniture President Andy Bray was not available for comment. However, a company spokesperson told Home News Now that the facility began production in mid-March and began shipping its first completed upholstery pieces by the end of April. In addition to upholstery manufacturing, the facility will handle assembly and wood finishing for the company’s Make It Yours custom wood line.

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“With the largest furniture manufacturing industry and work force in the United States, North Carolina is a confident choice for Vanguard,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “When we combine being first in furniture with being first in talent, North Carolina will continue to maintain its reputation as the furniture capital of the world.”

The company is utilizing a $250,000 performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund to help fund the project. This fund provides financial assistant to local governments to help attract jobs and investment in their communities.

In order to receive the funds and qualify for payment, companies like Vanguard must meet certain job creating and capital investment targets. In addition, the grant funding requires a match from local governments, and any award is based on that condition being met.

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