Business Briefs

Ethan Allen to expand in McDowell County

Posted August 4, 2010 2:25 p.m. EDT

— Ethan Allen Operations Inc., a manufacturer of Ethan Allen Interiors, will expand in Old Fort, officials said Wednesday.

The company plans to create 90 jobs and invest $250,000 to expand its production capacity of solid wood case goods furniture, such as dining and bedrooms sets for its North American and international design centers.

The new jobs will pay an average wage of $26,645 a year, plus benefits. McDowell County's average annual wage is $27,768.

“The recession of the past year has resulted in many challenges and also created opportunities to accelerate establishing a stronger enterprise,” Ethan Allen Chairman and Chief Executive Farooq Kathwari said in a statement. “Our plan to expand case goods operations in Old Fort, North Carolina, where we have been operating since 1959, will start immediately. We are pleased that the state and local government authorities in North Carolina worked with us to make this happen."

Ethan Allen has qualified for a $270,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund, which provides financial assistance to attract business projects to the state that stimulate economic activity and create jobs. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance targets to obtain the funds.

Established in 1932, Ethan Allen manufactures about 70 percent of its products in seven North American plants. It manufactures upholstery furniture in Maiden and has about 1,300 employees in North Carolina.