Governor Pat McCrory visits Catawba Valley Furniture Academy

By ALEX FRICK HICKORY, N.C. – Gov. Pat McCrory likes Monday Night Football, and he likes to watch it in comfort. During a tour of the Catawba Valley Furniture Academy at Catawba Valley Community College on Monday morning, he said he looked forward to kicking back on furniture donated to the Governor’s Mansion by Lee Industries and taking in the Seahawks-Redskins game scheduled for the evening

Lee, along with Century, Lexington Home Brands, Sherrill and Vanguard, came together to work with CVCC to design programs that will train people for the skilled positions they need filled.

McCrory strutted through the simulated furniture factory on CVCC’s East Campus followed by a gaggle of furniture company and college representatives, reporters and staffers. He marveled at the cutting and sewing machines, upholstery equipment and finished pieces of furniture he saw.

“This is what it’s all about,” McCrory said. “It’s connecting people with jobs and industries that are looking for talent. So we’re making talent with education, and this is our objective throughout the state. What they’re doing in Hickory could be a role model for the rest of the state. And it’s also showing that we’re not giving up on the furniture industry, and there’s a future for the furniture industry in North Carolina to grow.”

The furniture made in North Carolina is different than what’s manufactured in China and Central America, he said, and consumers demand a level of quality that is bringing some of that manufacturing back to the United States.

He said he hoped the reach of the Furniture Academy would extend to middle and high school students through their guidance counselors.

“In the past 20 years, we’ve been saying, ‘There’s only one way to success. You’ve got to be a lawyer or dentist or something.’ With all due respect, that’s just not the way it is,” he said.

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