Eric Lampkin

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Video: Area Furniture Producer a Bright Spot in the Economy

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI)–Economic indicators show that the nation and Northeast Mississippi are recovering from the Great Recession. One of the strongest signs of recovery is business expansion.

Business is brisk inside the showroom of Jackson Furniture at the Tupelo Furniture Market.

“We’ve had a robust start to the morning, we have big plans.”

Keith Jackson is vice president of sales for the 81 year old company that produces stationary furniture under the Jackson name and motion upholstery under the Catnapper brand. As buyers look at the displays, and order inventory, the furniture that is eventually shipped to them will be made only miles away.

Late last year, Jackson Furniture bought this 183 thousand square foot facility in Mantachie. The building had been home to another furniture manufacturer, but had sat vacant for more than a year.

Once Jackson Furniture moved in, it didn’t take long to start production, in part because of the local workforce.

“We are looking for experience, that’s why we came to Mississippi, the state, with the support they were able to give us as well as our vendor base here, we view Northeast Mississippi as the home of the furniture industry, so we look at this as an opportunity to be immediately successful because of the experienced workforce they have here.”

Workers at the Mantachie plant have been busy right out of the gate, everyday they make about 540 pieces of furniture, the goal is to eventually make 3000 pieces a week. That will mean a need for more workers.

Currently, 175 people work at the Mantachie plant, but with strong housing starts and a rebounding economy, there is room for expansion.

“We bought extra acreage, so we do have an opportunity for growth, we’re out there saying we’re hiring everyday as we have a bright future ahead of us and we look forward to growing here in Mississippi.”