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From Home Furnishing Business

Manufacturing Summit Set at Mississippi State

The Franklin Furniture Institute and the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) will host a joint Manufacturing Summit on the campus of Mississippi State University

The summit will take place Wednesday, March 18, in Starkville, Miss.

“Focus on the Future” will be a day-long program dedicated to examining the future of furniture manufacturing in the United States. The keynote presenter, Dr. Harold Sirkin, is one of the country’s top authorities on the manufacturing skills gap in the United States and how that gap will impact the growth of manufacturing in coming years.

Sirkin is a senior partner and management director at the Boston Consulting Group in Chicago, as well as a professor at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. In 2013, he co-authored a Boston Consulting Group study, “The U.S. Skills Gap: Could It Threaten a Manufacturing Renaissance?” in which he concluded that companies would have to be intentional in their efforts to develop and train the machinists, welders, industrial machinery mechanics and industrial engineers they will need by 2020.

For the fifth year, AHFA has collaborated with the Franklin Furniture Institute to bring manufacturing executives a program exploring the principal issues in furniture manufacturing today. Also participating in the 2015 Summit are the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Logistics, Trade and Transportation; MSU’s Extension Service and the MSU Forest and Wildlife Research Center. 

Additional presenters include:

• Dr. Malcolm Portera, “Landscape for the Future of Manufacturing in Mississippi and the Region.” Portera is a former MSU president and currently the chancellor emeritus of the University of Alabama System.

• Dr. Chad Miller, “The Future of Logistics and Transportation in Manufacturing.” Miller is director of the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Logistics, Trade and Transportation. He will moderate a panel that includes Steve Puryear, Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems Extension, Mississippi State University; Bryan Hunt, SEACOR Island Lines LLC; Dan Pallme, Intermodal Freight Transportation Studies, University of Memphis; and Jacob Nance, Standard Furniture

• Bill Perdue, “An Update on the Regulatory Environment.” Perdue is AHFA’s vice president of regulatory affairs.

Registration for the summit opens at 8 a.m. The program will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Registration is $99 and includes lunch, breaks and conference materials. Online registration is available

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Hilton Garden Inn located on Highway 12 East in Starkville, Miss. The group rate of $119 per night can be obtained by calling the hotel directly at (662) 615-9664 and requesting the Manufacturing Summit rate. 

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