Geiger International will be relocating their Hickory facility and its 24 full-time employees along with 40 jobs from their Lake Mills, Wisconsin facility to an updated and larger facility in Hildebran. The furniture manufacturer plans to relocate the 64 jobs to a new location in Burke County. Geiger will also invest $3.7 million over the next three years.
The Hickory and Lake Mills plants will be closed when the Hildebran facility is operational. Geiger is working on purchasing a 90,000 square foot plant in Hildebran to consolidate the operations of the Lake Mills and Hickory facilities. Currently, components made in Hickory are shipped to Lake Mills for assembly.
Geiger manufactures furniture for homes, offices, healing and learning environment. Burke County and surrounding counties have a long heritage of furniture making. Many of the furniture jobs have left the area over the past decade for China and other countries.
The announcement of the new jobs to Hildebran and Burke County is welcomed in an area hit extremely hard by the recession. Burke County currently has over 12% unemployment. Only Caldwell County has a higher unemployment rate in the area.
“North Carolina is known for manufacturing top quality furniture for the past century,” said Gov. Bev Perdue. “Geiger International recognizes that distinguished history, the importance of the furniture industry to the Hickory area and the top-ranked business climate we have built in North Carolina. Their expansion is great news for a community hit hard by the recession, and it is a validation of the policies we put in place to attract jobs to our state.”
The average wage for the new jobs will be $33,754, not including benefits. A manufacturing associate on the average will make $30,981 a year, not including benefits. The current average wage in Burke County is $30, 784.
Geiger will receive a grant of $128,000 from the One North Carolina Fund as part of the creation of these new jobs. Geiger International is a subsidiary of Herman Miller, Inc.