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From Home Furnishing Business

AHFA to Help Fund Furniture Industry Jobs Initiative

The Furniture Foundation of the American Home Furnishings Alliance has awarded $145,000 in scholarships and grants for 2015. 

The largest award, $75,000, is earmarked to help launch a campaign to address the growing skilled labor shortage in the home furnishings industry. The grant will be administered by AHFA’s Solution Partners division. 

The campaign will include the development of an online furniture industry jobs center to help prospective workers find available positions. The website also will be designed to encourage students to consider future careers in furniture manufacturing.  

Another $52,000 was awarded to Mississippi State University to fund one full-ride scholarship for a student with a concentration related to home furnishings design, production, sales, marketing or business, and also to provide seed money for a supervisor training program within MSU’s Franklin Furniture Institute.

In 2014, the Mississippi furniture industry announced 595 new jobs, four company expansions and four new company start-ups. Due to this growth in the state’s furniture industry, a void has emerged in supervisory personnel. The Franklin Furniture Institute’s Supervisory Manufacturing Management Training program will educate and train first-line supervisors and managers.

The third Furniture Foundation grant continues a scholarship program for furniture design students at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. The grant will fund six $3,000 scholarships. At least four previous recipients in the ASU program have been hired as furniture designers or product development specialists in the furniture industry.

AHFA’s Furniture Foundation was established in 1948 to support research and educational programs aimed at improving management, manufacturing and marketing within the residential furniture industry. Since 1990, the Foundation has distributed more than $3.5 million in scholarships and grants.

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