Over the past week, Lincolnton Furniture Company has seen its share of the national spotlight.
Owner and CEO Bruce Cochrane attended an â€œInsourcing American Jobsâ€ forum at the White House on Wednesday, having been invited because of his efforts to invest in America.
He was one of roughly a dozen leaders of domestic companies, small and large, participating in the event.
As previously reported, he will also be featured on NBCâ€™s Rock Center With Brian Williams, a news program that debuted on the network last year. That segment is set to air Jan. 23 at 10:30 p.m., with the hour-long show beginning at 10 p.m.
The segment on Lincolnton Furniture Company was filmed locally in November. Cochrane has also been featured on National Public Radio and in several state and national newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal.
But, until Wednesday, he told the Times-News he had never met a United States president.
â€œI thought it was a well-organized event,â€ he said of the forum, which, as stated in a White House Press Office release, focused on â€œthe increasing trend of insourcing â€” where companies are bringing jobs back to the United States and making additional investments here in America.â€
President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and various Cabinet and administration officials were present to lead a discussion on ways to encourage companies across the country to insource American jobs and help rebuild the economy for the future, according to the release.
Cochrane said he received his official invitation the week prior to the forum and that it was likely put together pretty quickly. Nonetheless, he described it as both â€œinformativeâ€ and â€œengagingâ€ and noted that â€œsome very important people (were) there.â€
He added that he was surprised at how gratified he felt to see so much support and enthusiasm going toward efforts to bring jobs back to America.
During his speech at the event, Obama shared the stories of many of the business representatives in attendance, including Cochraneâ€™s. He noted how Cochraneâ€™s family had manufactured furniture in North Carolina for five generations and how, while spending time in China as a consultant for American furniture companies who had shifted their production there, Cochrane made an unexpected discovery.
â€œTheir customers actually wanted to buy things made in America,â€ Obama said of the companies for which Cochrane was consulting. â€œSo he came home and started a new company, Lincolnton Furniture, which operates out of the old family factories that had been shut down. Heâ€™s even rehired many of the former workers from his family business.â€
While Cochrane believes the level of attention his company has received throughout the past few months will certainly â€œmake an impression on (customers)â€ who have seen him featured on TV and in the press, he knows none of it would be possible without the â€œpeople involved in the very beginning.â€ That is, the employees of Lincolnton Furniture Company.
â€œItâ€™s all about the people,â€ he stressed.