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Industry & Trends

Fast-tracking New Furniture Plant, Albany Industries Hunts for Workers

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April 27, 2022 | Bill Esler

Calhoun City, MS—Upholstered furniture manufacturer Albany Industries will add 85 jobs in a 52,388-sq.-ft. plant in Calhoun City, MS by year end.

Albany Industries was founded in 1995 in New Albany, MS. The vertically integrated manufacturer employs 700 people, producing upholstered furniture at four factories in three states. Albany says its vertical integration structure allows for control in all aspects of manufacturing and distribution.

Nailing OSB frame components at Albany Industries.

The new plant will be leased from Calhoun City, and Albany Industries received assistance from the Mississippi Development Authority and Appalachian Regional Commission for building renovations.

“This is not only a good business opportunity for Albany but an excellent opportunity to work with the great people of the Calhoun City area,” says Albany Industries VP of Operations Matt Ruth. “When we first visited we soon decided this was the place we wanted our next operation.”

The residential furniture industry has been growing rapidly, and domestic manufacturers have struggled to reduce lead times. The adaptation of an existing building and government agency support will allow the plant to come online in a relatively short time.

“We are very appreciative of the efforts the city made to secure a location where we could begin operating quickly,” Ruth says.

Finding workforce in the area is a competitive activity. Existing Albany locations already have 15 job openings, including positions for two Thermwood (IWF Booth B6213) CNC operators at its Galax, VA and Pontotoc, MS plants. New Albany advertises $1,200 signing bonuses for new employees and is looking for assemblers, saw operators, and truck drivers as well.

Ruth along with Johnny Anderson, director of human resources for Albany Industries, recently spoke about workforce readiness at a local school event about college and career readiness. They underscored the soft skills such as teamwork and interpersonal communications that are needed to be successful, covering employer expectations on attendance, punctuality, reliability, dependability, and taking initiative to go above and beyond to increase opportunities for promotions.

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