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Making It in America

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Making It in America

A 12-Point Plan for Growing Your Business and Keeping Jobs at Home

Center Street,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

John Bassett III saved his US furniture factory and learned a lot about manufacturing and patriotism.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Eye Opening
  • Inspiring


When rival furniture makers moved their manufacturing abroad, Virginia-based Vaughan-Bassett Furniture adjusted its strategy by relying on the strengths of its staff. CEO John Bassett III recounts how he and his employees saved the factory and hundreds of jobs. Writing with journalist Ellis Henican, he explains how you can guide your company to similar success. Bassett’s belief in leading with truth infuses his engaging stories. His 12-point “Leader’s Action Plan” offers useful and adaptable advice, delivered with practical examples in Bassett’s personable voice. He addresses the American manufacturing environment and how his strong sense of patriotism motivated his decisions. While he structures the content a little haphazardly, Bassett’s corporate bio is a timely, valuable blueprint for leading any type of company – particularly those looking to keep their operations in the United States. getAbstract recommends this entertaining, practical guide to business owners and executives.


“If We Can Do It in Our Company, You Can Do It in Yours”

John Bassett III is CEO of Virginia-based Vaughan-Bassett Furniture. He runs it with his sons Doug and Wyatt, his family’s fourth generation of furniture men. Today, JB3 – his preferred nickname – is focused on the future of his company, the largest “wood bedroom furniture” manufacturer in the United States. Bassett’s company withstood pressure to close or to move its manufacturing operation abroad to benefit from less expensive labor. Management supported its local workforce, and those employees gave back to the company to help it survive. JB3’s 12-point “Leader’s Action Plan” outlines a practical, scalable way to save or create jobs, earn profits, broaden opportunities for the people in your workforce, and strengthen your community and local economy. The 12 points of the Leader’s Action Plan are:

1. Learn to Lead

After serving in the US Army from 1959 to 1962, John Bassett III (nicknamed JB3) returned to his family’s hometown, Bassett, Virginia. He began working at Bassett Furniture Industries, the company his grandfather founded in 1902. JB3 became a “utility trouble shooter” – going...

About the Authors

Vaughan-Bassett Furniture CEO John Bassett III is a “third-generation Virginia furniture man.” Ellis Henican is a TV commentator and journalist. Bassett was also the subject of Beth Macy’s best-selling book Factory Man.

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