Few sectors have suffered as many setbacks as the manufacturing industry over the past few decades. As many companies shift their operations overseas, where labor is cheaper, there are still some firms that are expanding production at home.

In one of the latest developments, Ashley Furniture Industries recently stated that facilities in North Carolina would result in the hiring of 550 new workers by the year 2016. The worksite, located in close proximity to Smith Grove and Advance, was purchased by the company for $10.44 million on June 22.

Ashely benefited from a land grant from the Economic Development Council, which touted the new buildings as a positive step forward for the local economy.

"We will now experience a rapid move by the company to be operational by September in the existing buildings," Terry Bralley, the commission's president, told the source. "Ashley still expects this to be their largest operation in the world. This is only the beginning of more jobs coming to our community."

While the hiring is a positive step for the community, recent figures have shown a continued struggle. The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index drooped to 49.7 percent in June, down from a 53.5 percent reading in May.

Content provided by executive search organization, MRINetwork.

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