ALEXANDER COUNTY, NC (August 19, 2016) — Officials with the North Carolina Department of Commerce announced on August 18 that a $300,000 building renovation grant has been awarded to Craftmaster Furniture to assist with phase II of a renovation project at Plant 4 located on NC Hwy. 90 East.
Craftmaster has pledged to create at least 30 new full-time positions as part of the grant requirements, and the company’s total investment in this portion of the project is approximately $1.7 million. Renovations include roofing, electrical systems, lighting, ventilation systems and interior offices.
“We greatly appreciate the support that we have experienced since purchasing this empty facility,” said Craftmaster President and CEO Roy Calcagne. “This grant will allow Craftmaster to complete the renovation of our plant 4 facility which now employs about 110 people. Three years ago, this building was an eyesore to the community. After investing more than $2 million to create a state of the art manufacturing facility, we are ready to expand even further by investing an additional $1.7 million. We will create another 30 jobs with this expansion which shows that the furniture industry is growing and thriving and also shows just how committed Craftmaster is to Alexander County. I would like to thank the county’s economic development staff for helping us through the grant process, and I would like to thank the County Commissioners for their ongoing support,” added Calcagne.
Originally constructed in 1950, the former Broyhill plant was purchased by Craftmaster in 2013. The building was in severe disrepair and had been empty for several years. A 2014 renovation grant from the N.C. Department of Commerce was awarded and resulted in the creation of approximately 110 new jobs in the facility.
Matching funds, amounting to five percent of the renovation grant amount, are provided by Alexander County Government to fund grant administration.
“Alexander County Commissioners made a commitment several years ago to economic development and established as a priority to do what we could to help our local businesses create new, good paying jobs in Alexander County,” said Commission Chairman Ryan Mayberry. “So, it is with great pleasure that we participate with Craftmaster, and other employers, in projects that accomplish this goal.”
Mayberry pointed out that the unemployment rate in Alexander County has been on a steady decline since 2009, and he credited Craftmaster, and other local manufacturers, as being a critical factor in that improvement.
“Alexander County has went from a high unemployment rate of 14.7 percent just a few years ago, to 4.5 percent, which is one of the lowest unemployment rates of any county in the state,” Mayberry said. “But, there is still work to do. That’s why it is so important to work with our local businesses in ways to help them expand and grow here in Alexander County. On behalf of county commissioners and the citizens of the county, I want to commend Craftmaster’s efforts. It’s companies like Craftmaster Furniture that make Alexander County a great place to live.”
Craftmaster Furniture was founded in 1972. By 1974, the company had constructed a 50,000 square feet facility in the community of Hiddenite where they employed about 50 people. Craftmaster was purchased in May 2006 by Samson Holdings and has continued to grow its business, making Craftmaster one of the most well-known upholstery manufacturers in the country.
Over the past 44 years, the company has continued its growth pattern and, today, occupies some 600,000 square feet of space and has 619 full time employees.
In early 2016, Craftmaster signed a licensing agreement with celebrity chef, Rachael Ray. This upholstery line features some 60 fabrics that are exclusive to Rachael Ray.
For more information about Craftmaster Furniture, visit www.cmfurniture.com.