OFS expansion to bring jobs

Mar. 12, 2013 @ 05:37 PM

A High Point furniture manufacturer and logistics company on Tuesday announced plans to expand its operation and create 188 jobs.
OFS Brands will double the size of its 110,000-square-foot facility on Jackson Lake Road in south High Point in a project that will add $9.25 million in capital investment to the local tax base. The new jobs will be added over five years and pay an average annual wage of $42,119.
A family-owned corporation headquartered in Indiana and founded in 1937, OFS Brands makes casegoods, seating and tables. Its logistics division delivers furniture across the nation for itself and various clients.
The project was made possible by performance-based incentives grants from the state, city and county. High Point and Guilford County last fall authorized up to $220,000 and $188,000, respectively, in cash incentives. In addition, the company will receive a grant of up to $300,000 from the One North Carolina Fund. All of the incentives are subject to a performance agreement with OFS Brands that require it to meet job-creation and capital investment benchmarks to receive the payments.
OFS Brands Senior Vice President Ryan Menke said the company considered undertaking the expansion at a site that it owns in Indiana before deciding on High Point for the project.
“We really appreciate all the assistance from the state, county and city,” Menke said. “It allows us create that permanent home here in North Carolina. We have that foundation we can build off of.”
OFS Brands, which specializes in commercial office furnishings, entered the Triad market in 2006 when it bought Carolina Business Furniture, which had upholstery manufacturing operations in High Point and Archdale. In 2008, it acquired furniture company Loewenstein in north High Point and integrated it into its manufacturing operations. It is now the parent company for OFS, Loewenstein, First Office, Carolina and Styline Logistics.
The company’s current Triad presence includes manufacturing, distribution/warehouse and customer service sites at two south High Point facilities and two buildings in Archdale. OFS currently has about 200 employees in the two cities.
The Jackson Lake Road facility previously was occupied by MGM Transport Corp., a company that specialized in transporting furniture until it closed in 2011.
“We want to continue to be a state ... where we see products that somewhere have a label that acknowledges ‘made in North Carolina, made in the USA.’ With OFS Brands expanding here in High Point, it means more furniture products will proudly carry that name,” said Deputy N.C. Commerce Secretary Dale Carroll.
Many of its products are made for health care markets — a side of the business that doubled during the recession, Menke said. He added that the new jobs will be created in three general areas — production, drivers for the logistics division and general office and administrative positions.



OFS Brands, a furniture and logistics company, announced Tuesday afternoon that it will expand its facility in Guilford County. 

The company plans to create 188 jobs and invest $9.25 million over the next five years in High Point, according to the office of Gov. Pat McCrory.
“Our state has a proud history as a leading furniture manufacturer because our workforce is second to none,” McCrory said. “We’re excited that OFS Brands has decided to invest in North Carolina once again.”

OFS Brands, founded in 1937, is a family-owned and operated furniture and logistics company. The company manufactures furniture under the brands OFS, First Office, Carolina Business Furniture and Loewenstein. OFS Brands also provides transportation services through Styline Logistics, a subsidiary located in High Point. The project will allow OFS Brands to consolidate its four different operations under one roof. The company currently employs more than 190 people in North Carolina.

Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual salaries for the new jobs will be $42,119, plus benefits.

“OFS Brands is extremely excited to establish our permanent home in High Point, NC.  We are grateful to the state, county and city for supporting our company,” said Ryan Menke Sr., vice president of supply chain and managing director of services division. “Their generous assistance will allow us to grow and expand new opportunities for the local community.  Our shared core values of family and work ethic have created a perfect marriage between our IN and NC teams.”

The project was made possible in part by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $300,000. The state grant will be based on the company creating 126 jobs and investing $8.4 million over the first three years of the project.  The grant is contingent upon proof of job creation and receipt of a local funding match. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. 

Also, the High Point City Council last year approved local incentives for the project, contingent on OFS' commitment to a city location.

Other partners that helped with this project include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, Guilford County, City of High Point and the High Point Economic Development Corporation.


UPDATED 1:10 p.m.

Just heard from reporter Pat Kimbrough who is at City Hall --It's official: OFS Brands will expand its presence in High Point, add 188 jobs.

Check back for more information later today.



9:30 a.m.

State officials will be in High Point later today to make an economic development announcement.

On behalf of Gov. Pat McCrory, N.C. Commerce Deputy Secretary Dale Carroll will be at City Hall at 1 p.m. along with other officials to make the announcement.

There's no word yet on what the project is and no one has leaked us any information about it, but a leading contender could be OFS Brands, a furniture manufacturer and logistics company for which the City Council authorized up to $220,000 in cash incentives in November for a possible expansion. At the time, officials said High Point was competing with a location out of state for the project. The company would use the incentives to expand and upgrade its facility on Jackson Lake Road and add 188 jobs over five years. The jobs would pay $40,700 annually.

OFS, a family-owned company headquartered in Indiana, makes casegoods, seating and tables, and its logistics division delivers furniture across the nation.

There has been no announcement to date about the company's decision, and High Point has not considered any other projects for incentives since the OFS case.