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Lack of Necessary Skills to Fill Future Jobs


United Furniture, a Lane Division, is a substantial furniture manufacturer in Lee, Monroe and Chickasaw Counties in Mississippi, with approximately 2,500 jobs, and their continued success is vital to the furniture employment base of the area. 

The Challenge

The company strongly believes that all new hires must go through a mandatory training program for 6 - 9 weeks before transitioning to the main furniture production manufacturing lines.
One of the biggest challenges facing the workforce right now is not lack of jobs; it is the lack of necessary skills to fill the jobs now available. A primary focus for those in workforce development is to bridge the gap between employers and potential employees, addressing the issues of skills training and talent building.
— Robbie Robinson, Operation Manager

MEP's Role

MMA-MEP Center at Itawamba Community College, part of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association and the MEP National Network™, and United Furniture, a division of Lane, have been working together for the last 15 years and have built a strong training program to help unskilled workers learn new skills in sewing, framing, upholstery and other furniture related fields. By having new employees go through this mandatory training program, the quality of United Furniture product has improved, decreased waste and increased overall productivity.  In addition, investing in new equipment for cushion and backfill blowers has brought cushion manufacturing to a higher quality and durability.
Created January 26, 2021, Updated July 12, 2021