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Cindy Hodnett

Klaussner featured on '60 Minutes' segment about recovering town

 A “60 Minutes” production team taped for several hours in a Klaussner factory where workers make products like this Audrina sofa, recently introduced at the High Point Market.A “60 Minutes” production team taped for several hours in a Klaussner factory where workers make products like this Audrina sofa, recently introduced at the High Point Market.

ASHEBORO, N.C. — Furniture manufacturer and importer Klaussner Home Furnishings was featured in a "60 Minutes" segment Sunday that focused on the economic recovery of the company's hometown.

Titled "The Death and Life of Asheboro," the segment focused on several Asheboro companies that have helped build a new economy in a town dramatically affected by job losses and factory closings.

"The folks from ‘60 Minutes' approached us after the April furniture market," said Len Burke, vice president of marketing for Klaussner. "We're the third largest employer in the county, and since Asheboro was once on the top ten list of dying towns in America, ‘60 Minutes' wanted to show how companies have survived in tough economic times."

The 60 Minutes team spent between three and four hours shooting footage at Klaussner's factory in Asheboro. The Klaussner shots shown on the segment were from the company's frame shop.

"They were very surprised at how labor intensive the furniture manufacturing process is," Burke said. "They had no idea how many people have to touch a sofa before it gets to a retailer."

He said that Klaussner has been proactive over the past decade, achieving growth in a challenging market. He added that he was pleased that it highlighted what companies are doing right to keep jobs in Asheboro.

"When you cut it, sew it and build the frames, there's very little that can be done to automate an upholstery shop," Burke said. "So when you build more furniture, you employ more people. When retail comes back to where it was, and it will, we're going to be ready for it."

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