PONTOTOC, Miss. (WCBI) – As businesses opened after the extended shutdown to stop the coronavirus from spreading, workers at furniture companies have gotten back on the production lines.
Trucks waited to move product out at Behold Washington Furniture. The Pontotoc plant was shut down for more than a month because of concerns over COVID-19, but now workers were back on the job, and demand was high.
From the front office to production lines, face masks were mandatory for employees at Behold Washington Furniture. Like other manufacturers, the furniture maker has followed CDC guidelines as it resumed production.
“We’re taking precautions needed to keep our workers safe,” said John Beard, who is vice president of sales for Behold Washington.
The company operates two factories, one in Pontotoc, and another in Smithville.
When COVID-19 related shutdowns began, the furniture industry was booming. Many retailers closed during the shelter in place orders, and furniture was not coming off the line. But Beard said demand was high, as consumers were ready to shop with stimulus checks and tax refunds.
“We had a lot of momentum going into the pandemic, so naturally, our momentum going into the pandemic is what helped us coming out of the pandemic,” Beard said.
Employees at Behold Washington were furloughed during the shutdown, so they could collect unemployment benefits.
Beard said the team members were all being called back to meet big demand from retailers.
“Our manufacturing area is air-conditioned, it’s well lit, it’s a very good work environment, we are one week away from being at full capacity,” he said.
Employees at Behold Washington Furniture were no strangers to adversity. A major portion of their factory was destroyed by fire two years ago.
Workers said they were glad to be back on the job providing for their families and making furniture for customers nationwide.
By next week, all 425 employees will be back on the job at Behold Washington Furniture.