Not all furniture factories are closed in North Carolina! In fact many of us are enjoying a type of renaissance. Hickory Chair has actively hired artisans, craftsmen, customer service, engineers and other positions. In fact in December 2011 approximately 450 worked for our company. Today that number is 675! I am told that other local furniture manufacturers are hiring as well. This means that the fabric mills, spring, cushion, lumber, veneer, glue, fastener, etc. companies have more being purchased for the increased amounts of local furniture being made. Our local economy is growing enough to support a number of new restaurants and hotel that are currently under construction!
What does this mean to our community? JOBS, FUTURE, OPPORTUNITIES for all ages! We do have a concern...enough talented artisans and craftsmen living in our local community! Early in the 2000's as countless furniture manufacturing facilities closed or moved their production offshore, the community college watched its furniture program enrollment dwindle. Each semester courses were cancelled due to not enough students. In addition, displaced furniture craftsmen learned new skills and many moved out of the area. We knew that we must recruit in schools and in the community individuals to join our industry.
Over the weekend a wonderful article was published "College to Offer New Furniture Program". The article announced that six local furniture companies, including Hickory Chair, partnered in the development of the new furniture program at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, NC to help build skills necessary for the growing local industry! During the past year we have had middle and high school students tour our workroom. Over the summer we had interns in several areas of the company from design to manufacturing. We believe in the guild system where apprentices work with our talented artisans and craftsmen to learn the skills to become future masters!
Are you interesting in joining our family of artisans and craftsmen? Visit our corporate career center that includes all openings for Hickory Chair and our sister brands at HeritageHome.com. Maybe you will find yourself part of our team in the New Year!