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More than 500 jobs lost with closing of Henry County furniture plant

Rosalind Helderman

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling have issued a lengthy joint statement responding to an announcement today from Stanley Furniture will close a manufacturing plant in economically hard hit Henry County, putting 530 people out of work.

The company said it will outsource production of its adult furniture line overseas. in their statement, McDonnell and Bolling acknowledged the announcement is a blow to their efforts to revitalize the Virginia economy, particularly in manufacturing communities where the unemployment rate is significantly higher than in other parts of Virginia.

They called it a "a setback for the economy of Southern Virginia and personally devastating to the workers and families who will be impacted. Stanley Furniture's decision to close their Henry County plant is a disappointing development for a region that has long struggled with one of the highest unemployment rates in the Commonwealth."

Still, the two noted legislative efforts passed this winter to help spur job creation--including new tax credits for companies that create jobs. And they note there have been some positive economic announcements for the region in recent weeks as well: 250 new jobs created by Faneuil in Henry County and 160 new positions created by EcomNets at a new manufacturing center in Danville.

"We are committed to utilizing every resource available to create the new jobs these workers need, bring new employers to the region and turn the economy of Southern Virginia, and the entire Commonwealth, around. It is the foremost priority of our Administration," they said.

So far, we've also seen a statement on the plant closing from U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello. "We are devastated by this news, and my staff and I pledge to do everything we can to help the families and community of Martinsville-Henry County through this painful transition," he said.

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By Rosalind Helderman  |  May 12, 2010; 6:18 PM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  | Tags: Bob McDonnell, Stanley Furniture, Virginia  
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All the promises by "Gov McDonnell" can't be kept. Never believe in these politicians when they are running for office and promising delivery of their solutions. For the most part they have not control over what is going on. His promise about jobs now has this community reeling with the lost of 530 jobs. I'm sure he couldn't deliver on his tax breaks in time to save this company.

Posted by: galaxies42 | May 13, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Again another politicians faliure to deliver. Gov. McDonnell promised jobs and now we have a company deciding to use foreign manufacturing in lieu of domestic labor. Where is McDonnell's promise about tax credit and more jobs for the Commonwealth. Again and empty promise by a politician.

Posted by: galaxies42 | May 13, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Well, at least we paid $14 Million for 250 Northrop jobs in (single-digit unemployment) NoVA.

I wonder how much state bailout money would have saved these 530 existing jobs - maybe $2, $3 million, goes a long way over there in Henry County.

Priorities, Governor, priorities...

Posted by: antonioeliasiv | May 13, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

The McDonnell jobs plan at work. Jobs going overseas. But hey, we got Northrup Grumman.

Posted by: jckdoors | May 13, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I'm adding Stanley Furniture to my growing list of products to boycott.

Posted by: sotiredofit | May 13, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

From their website:

"Made in USA. Since 1924.
Look for the flag!
The stars and stripes next to any of our products tells you it's American made.

If you’ve given up thinking you can buy new furniture that’s designed and made in America, think again. Stanley Furniture has been made in the USA since 1924."

1924-2010: when it got cheaper to send jobs overseas.

Take down the flag, please.

Posted by: aprible | May 13, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

In a Free Market, since it's cheaper to make furniture elsewhere, why do we get to complain about the loss of jobs? Isn't this what the good people of southern VA voted for?

Everybody believes in Free Markets until they lose their job because someone else will do it for cheaper. Eff SoVA. This is what you voted for. Deal with it.

Posted by: JoeMck | May 13, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Cuccinelli can hire those 530 people to carry torches and storm UVa looking for scientific data that supports evolution.

but we can all thank McDonnell for the state giving $14 million dollars to Northrup Grumann to bring 75 californians to come work in Virginia. That $10 million in additional tax revenue over 10 years will sure come in handy to offset the $14 million dollar tax loss today.

Posted by: MarilynManson | May 13, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Another casualty of global wage arbitrage. Textiles - check, computer engineers - check, furniture manufacturers - check, accountants - you're next!

Is it more a reflection on Federal regulations and taxes when the #1 business-friendly (per Forbes), right-to-work state in the country loses jobs overseas?

Posted by: millionea81 | May 13, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

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