Allie Martin

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Video: Local Manufacturing Outlook Appears Positive

LEE COUNTY, MISS. (WCBI) – It has been several years since First District Congressman Alan Nunnelee visited Hunter Douglas.

Since then, the Metals and Distribution Center expanded, the recession hit, and in a pre-tour briefing, company officials said it appears the long awaited economic recovery has begun.

“Our sales last year improved from the year before, this year’s sales look at least they will be as good as last year, probably even a little bit better,” said General Manager Mike Robinson.

During the Congressman’s 90 minute tour of the Shannon plant, he learned all about the company’s product line and manufacturing process and was able to hear from employees, who are concerned about a number of issues on Capitol Hill.

Hunter Douglas General Manager Mike Robinson said it’s important for legislators, like Congressman Nunnelee, to see how laws and policies impact manufacturers.

“It gives him the opportunity to see what goes on in a local business, what the things we have to face everyday, with laws and regulations and how it affects us, it also gives him a chance to see employees and his constituents working and contributing to our local economy,” said Robinson.

“Employees in places like Hunter Douglas take their paychecks on Friday, go spend it at the grocery store, at restaurants, on health care and manufacturing is literally what drives the entire economy,” Nunnelee said.

Another sign of an improving local economy, the announcement that United Furniture Industries will add at least 100 jobs at its Nettleton plant. The company is the exclusive U S manufacturer of Simmons Upholstered Furniture.

Because of its commitment to add at least 100 new jobs, United Furniture Industries will receive a state grant that allows them to completely re-roof the 445,000 square foot facility. Hiring has already started.