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Sat Apr 7, 2012, 06:43 PM

Lincolnton furniture company's revival has global message

LINCOLNTON, N.C. When Bruce Cochrane's family furniture company became an empty factory, he wouldn't drive by the building, even though it was just a short ride from home. There were just too many memories of what was and what he was sure would never be again.

Five generations of Cochranes had been furniture makers, starting with his great-great grandfather, William, who built church pews in the 1850s. By the mid-1990s, though, the long, proud family tradition appeared to be at an end. Like so many other American industries, the furniture trade was moving to China, land of cheap labor.

Cochrane headed there, too, becoming a consultant to furniture makers there, making occasional trips to offer advice. Back in North Carolina, he saw globalization taking its toll. First, fewer and fewer workers in the plants. Then, shuttered factories. But it took a while to grasp the scope of the loss.

"I didn't give that a lot of thought at the time," Cochrane says. "I was making so much money that I did not really dwell on the implications of what I was doing, of what other people were doing. ... Later on, I saw how sad it was to see a $50 billion industry move offshore and all the thousands and thousands of jobs that were lost. And I was part of it."


full piece and worth the read on inshoring factory jobs.. http://www.wral.com/news/state/story/10945194/


North Carolina used to make tons of high quality long-lasting furniture that people passed down through the generations. I wish Mr. Cochrane and his employees all the luck and talent in the world to make it so again. He's an example of a business owner who finally connected the dots.

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Reply Lincolnton furniture company's revival has global message (Original post)
supernova Apr 2012 OP
The Straight Story Apr 2012 #1
msongs Apr 2012 #2
Zalatix Apr 2012 #3
NYC_SKP Apr 2012 #4
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #5
DocMac Apr 2012 #6

Response to supernova (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 06:45 PM

1. K&R (nt)

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Response to supernova (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 06:49 PM

2. I have a nice old wood executive desk made in North Carolina like 60 yrs ago. weighs a ton nt

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Response to supernova (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 06:51 PM

3. Well, that puts Lincolnton furniture on my short list of companies to shop.

 

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Response to supernova (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 07:18 PM

4. K/R. Yet, there are people who declare that they cannot afford not to buy shit from China.

 

That they MUST buy Chinese crap from Walmart.

Well, I can only hope they're in the minority among progressives, and that an increasing number come to realize that we have to support jobs here.

Additionally, we have to stop our consumeristic crazy ways!

Thanks for this story, I am encouraged by the news.

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Response to supernova (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 07:26 PM

5. The far end of hiding true costs. Everything made ends up in a landfill.

 

Making it as cheaply as possible both multiplies and accelerates this deadly progression. and the whole of the earth, including us, pays that price while only the few enjoy the short term profit.

Our entire economic model is about concealing and shifting these costs away from the profit takers and on to everybody else.

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Response to supernova (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 08:52 PM

6. I have a degree in Upholstery.

That's what I did when I came out of the Marine Corp. But, I married a woman who's father owned a machine shop and he gave me a job after I graduated from that CETA program. Well I worked there for three years and was laid off 4 times. This was 1983 and the unemployment line was out the door and out the street. But I digress.

Now i'm a design engineer, using AutoCad for machining and laser cutting. With that comes the fabrication.

I have drawings for aluminum furniture that would rock the world of the upper class. I say this because I have led lights involved and the paint is heated on...like cars are. It would last a lifetime and still have a recycle value.

I even designed the drawer mechanism's. I'm talking small magnets for release and capture, and the small wheels I designed (like those of those inline skates). Now also consider that I can Cut a thousand small stars from your headboard and wire some LED's to it.....a subtle and ambian light. No one has done this. But i'm willing to bet that Brad Pit would buy the first set.

Sorry if I went on a rant. But i'm serious.

lol...Duane

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