Shift Changes: Furniture manufacturer brings jobs back to North Carolina, discusses success with President Obama
Yesterday, President Obama gathered about a dozen businesses and many more experts at the White House to strategize about bringing manufacturing jobs back to America. Bruce Cochrane, owner of Lincolnton Furniture was among the President’s guests, and Cochrane's company is a shining example of how it’s possible—and lucrative—to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.
Cochrane recently invested $5 million in a Lincolnton, NC facility and plans to hire 130 workers to build middle-to higher-priced solid wood furniture in the same warehouse that his family once ran, reports the Charlotte Observer.
While many companies have viewed overseas operations as a cheap alternative to domestic manufacturing, business owners like Cochrane are beginning to take advantage of the benefits of domestic production—benefits that the Obama Administration wants to plans to promote.
“Cochrane, though, sees opportunity [in the U.S.]: He said labor costs are rapidly increasing in China, shipping costs have doubled, and the rising yuan has begun to eliminate many of the benefits that attracted furniture companies overseas.”
We’re pleased that the President chose to include a furniture manufacture like Lincolnton in yesterday’s forum, as the American furniture industry, the epicenter of which is located in High Point, NC, has long been a respected and job-creating industry for the U.S.
We hope that more manufacturers learn from Lincolnton’s positive experience with keeping their products manufactured domestically, and that “insourcing” becomes the new norm.
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