La-Z-Boy To Expand Rhea Co. Plant; Add 115 Jobs

Posted at 3:42 PM, Feb 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-02 16:42:09-05

Governor Haslam announced a Rhea County employer will be expanding its operations and creating more than 100 new jobs.

La-Z-Boy Incorporated is the largest employer in Rhea County. On Thursday, officials said they will be investing about $26 million over the course of three years into the expansion.

The project should create 115 jobs in Dayton.

“La-Z-Boy has been a part of the Rhea County community for more than 40 years and we appreciate its commitment to Tennessee and for creating more than 100 new jobs in Rhea County,” Haslam said. “This expansion helps us become one step closer to our goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

The manufacturer and retailer of upholstery products has been located in Dayton since 1973.

La-Z-Boy’s Dayton plant has approximately 1,400 employees, which makes it the largest employer in Rhea County. In 2012, Industry Week Magazine named the Dayton Facility one of the 10 best plants in North America.

“We have a long history in the state of Tennessee, having built the Dayton facility almost 45 years ago, and it has grown to become our largest plant,” Kurt L. Darrow, chairman, president and chief executive officer of La-Z-Boy Incorporated, said. “We are proud of our longstanding relationship with the community, which is very much a part of the fiber of our company, and we look forward to continuing to operate in Dayton for many years to come. We thank the great State of Tennessee and City of Dayton for their support throughout the years and, in particular, for this important project as we continue to invest in our U.S. facilities.”

La-Z-Boy will be expanding its current facility as well as adding a new Innovation Center and logistics facilities. With this expansion, the company will develop, manufacture and distribute La-Z-Boy products.

Local leaders and partners expressed gratitude to La-Z-Boy for choosing to expand in Rhea County.

“La-Z-Boy has been in Dayton since 1973 and it has continued to seek growth opportunities,” Dayton Mayor Gary Louallen said. “It is the largest employer in the county and the fact that it is willing to expand even further, as well as locate its research and development department here, speaks volumes about La-Z-Boy’s confidence in our community. We are happy, as community leaders, to have partnered with La-Z-Boy and TNECD to bring this project to life here.”

“Rhea County is fortunate to have an industrial facility such as La-Z-Boy –a nationally known brand in the furniture industry with a great reputation for quality and customer service,” Rhea County Mayor George Thacker said. “We are excited to see it grow, and the jobs created by this expansion will help boost our economy and expand our tax base.”

“We work really hard to create an environment in this community that is conducive to industrial success,” Dennis Tumlin, executive director of the Rhea Economic and Tourism Council, said.  “The fact that La-Z-Boy feels comfortable in making this kind of investment in our community means we have created the right infrastructure for them to continue growing their business.

“La-Z-Boy’s decision to expand here is a direct reflection on the quality of the workforce we have here in the Rhea County area. Hats off to those employees who continue to deliver long-term quality and reliability,” Tumlin added.

Dayton and Rhea County are represented by Sen. Ken Yager (R - Kingston) and Rep. Ron Travis (R - Dayton) in the Tennessee General Assembly.