Senator gets inside look at Tuohy Furniture
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 3:23 AM
Sen. Amy Klobuchar toured Tuohy Furniture in Chatfield last Monday morning as part of a visit to southeastern Minnesota following her reelection this past November.
Mike Tuohy, front, explains to Sen. Amy Klobuchar how parts of the plant operate. Also shown is Mayor Don Hainlen.
Klobuchar met with the Tuohy family, including F. Mike Tuohy, who helped build the business from its start when his father founded it in 1952 as a church furniture supply company. It is now run by a third generation and manufacturing only office furniture.
Klobuchar greeted employees of the factory and inquired what their jobs were, and also asked the owners how the business has fared over the course of the recession.
She was informed that the plant had to let "probably 80 people go, all good people," and that since things have improved slightly, approximately one-third have been hired back, though operations "would have to grow significantly to bring them all back."
The 45-minute tour took her through all parts of the factory, and at the end, she listened as the owners and supervisors listed what changes may be necessary to continue as an innovative office furniture supplier, as well as what impediments they encounter while making those changes.
Klobuchar thanked them for their time and the tour, proceeding on to Rochester to a meeting involving metal theft and how it affects the local economy.
Before her departure, she said, "All across Minnesota I've seen how businesses like Tuohy are driving economic growth and lifting up their communities. I will continue to work to help ensure that our state's innovative companies have the tools they need to grow and thrive."