HICKORY, NC—Design Foundry is investing more than $3.1 million to open a new furniture assembly plant here that will create 202 jobs over the next five years. According to state officials, the company will manufacture upholstered furniture in partnership with a major furniture and home goods retailer. The company will emphasize the strong tradition of handmade furniture, combined with technology in manufacturing to create new methods of manufacturing through supplier partnerships, and internal research and development. 
Design Foundry will hire craftspeople, as well as those with education or experience based in science, technology, engineering and math. The company plans to use advanced equipment and practices in their manufacturing processes.
The plant is helped, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier this year. Over the course of the grant's 12-year term, the state expects the project will grow the state’s economy by an estimated $320 million.
Using a formula that accounts for the new tax revenues generated by the new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $1,545,300 spread over 12 years. State payments only occur following performance verification by the Departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company.
Because Design Foundry chose to designate its corporate headquarters in Catawba County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 2, the company’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving as much as $171,700 in new tax revenue generated through the grant into the state’s Industrial Development Fund–Utility Account. This account helps rural communities finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business.