Archive for the ‘Unemployment’ Category
An excerpt from the story:
According to employees, they were told to display a closed sign around 3:30 p.m. Remaining customers finished their meal and left as shocked employees learned they no longer had jobs.
Workers not on duty arrived as usual at 4 p.m. to pick up the week’s paychecks and learned they were jobless.
Atlanta Bread first opened in Tupelo in 2008 by franchise owners Brett Hildenbrand and Hugh “Kip” D. Tigrett III. Their company, T & H Restaurants, legally dissolved in October 2013. Hildenbrand said through email late Wednesday night that he no longer had any ownership in the franchise. Tigrett has ownership in another company, K and N Enterprises, Mississippi Secretary of State records show.
Last month, the parent company of Lane Furniture Industries stunned the employees at Lane’s Saltillo plant, announcing it would be closed by March 21. Heritage Home Group said “business circumstances” forced it to make the decision.
Many of them are looking for jobs, and on Wednesday, a job fair at Itawamba Community College’s Belden campus provided hope for some of them. About a dozen companies, including several furniture manufacturers, attended.
“I worked at Lane for 28 1/2 years – it’s all I’ve ever known,” said Gladys Clark. “It’s harder to get a job when you’re older, but I’m going to get a job wherever I can find it.”
Clark, like most of her colleagues at Lane, thought they had been given s second chance when private equity firm KPS Capital bought the assets of the former Furniture Brands International, which had gone bankrupt. The company said late last year that it would offer jobs to most of the 4,000 employees of Furniture Brands, whose companies included Lane, Broyhill, Thomasville, Drexel Heritage and others.
So the announcement in January that Lane’s Saltillo plant would close caught many, including Clark, off guard.
“It was a slap in the face,” she said. “Some were transferred to Belden, and I thought I’d go, but I wasn’t. My last day was Feb. 13.” Read the rest of this entry »
From the CDF:
Northeast Mississippi industries can absorb many, if not all of the 480 people laid off as a result of Lane Furniture Industry’s recent Saltillo facility closure. Among those hiring are Ashley Furniture Industries, Prime Hospitality Group, American Furniture, and H.M. Richard’s.
“The furniture industry in Northeast Mississippi is very healthy and many of these dislocated workers will have the opportunity to stay within the furniture sector,” said Community Development Foundation President David Rumbarger. “It is the work ethic of hard workers like those at Lane and others that have made the furniture business in Northeast Mississippi the largest cluster of companies.”
Many industries ask job seekers to apply on site while others are utilizing the WIN Job Center to facilitate its hiring process. The intent of the WIN Job Center is to simplify all programs under a single, comprehensive system. The Mississippi Department of Employment Services and The WIN Job Center will hold four Rapid Response sessions Wednesday, February 26, from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. as well as a job fair from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. All events will take place at the WIN Job Center’s Belden location and are available for former Lane employees only. Over 15 employers will be present. For more information, visit mdes.ms.gov. Read the rest of this entry »
If you missed Thursday’s story in the Daily Journal that the furniture industry in Northeast Mississippi being able to absorb some of the 480 layoffs at Lane Furniture, it seems that other companies also are stepping up.
For example, Ashley Furniture Industries, the world’s largest furniture manufacturer and supplier, has openings at its Ecru and Ripley plants.
Brent Koslo, Ashley’s vice president of world wide manufacturing, said the company has 150 openings between the two plants.
Ashley is having a job fair Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at each location, hiring for upholstery, upholstery supervisors and the warehouse.
The company employs about 3,000 workers in Northeast Mississippi.
So, with Ashley’s 150 openings, United’s 100 and other openings at Albany Industries, Affordable Furniture, Southern Motion and others, Lane employees have opportunities available.
North Mississippi Health Services in Tupelo in November announced system-wide layoffs of 109 people (click here for previous coverage), and the Mississippi Department of Employment Security is offering them some help if needed.
The state agency is having a Rapid Response meeting team on Jan. 28 at 10 a.m. at the conference center at Itawamba Community College Belden campus
MDES and the Mississippi Partnership Local Workforce Investment Area will provide help with reemployment and retraining services for the workers laid off. Most were employees of North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo.
Those attending the session will receive information on employment services and re-training assistance such as conducting a job search, creating a resume, job placement assistance and the Home Saver Program. Representatives from the Tupelo WIN Job Center and Itawamba Community College will be present to give information on re-training and workforce education.
For more information about the meetings contact the Tupelo WIN Job Center at (662) 842-4371.
Parent company Heritage Home Group is reorganizing its operations less than two months after it assumed control of most of the remaining assets of Furniture Brands International, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sept. 9.
Its brands include Lane, Broyhill, Thomasville, LaneVenture, Pearson, Hickory Chair, Drexel Heritage and Maitland-Smith.
Lane employed 1,400 people at its manufacturing plants in Belden and Saltillo, as well as its office and warehouse in Verona and another distribution center in Wren prior to FBI’s bankruptcy filing.
Saltillo Mayor Rex Smith ssid he and city officials were caught off guard by the announcement.
“We knew they had some difficulties before the bankruptcy filing, but we were feeling hopeful after they got new owners that they could continue on,” he said. “A lot of good people are losing their jobs, and we’re going to get together and talk about what we can do. We can’t fill all those jobs immediately, but we’re going to keep at it.”
Smith said Lane was the city’s largest employer.
MDES said it had not received any information about Lane’s other facilities, but a letter from Heritage Home Group said the Saltillo closure “is expected to be permanent; no employees will be retained at this plant.”
Gloria Neal of MDES said a rapid response team would be sent as soon as possible to help employees with transitioning to other jobs. The assistance would include help with resumes, unemployment benefits sign-ups, information about training programs, etc.
“We’re just waiting to hear from the company,” she said.
A spokesperson for the Community Development Foundation in Tupelo said, “CDF’s focus is to create new opportunities for Lane’s displaced workers transitioning them into re-employment. We are working with several companies and anticipate employment opportunities for these workers in the near future.”
There had been renewed hope in September when Furniture Brands attracted a venture firm, KPS Capital Partners, in addition to another firm, as potential bidders.
After a brief bidding war, KPS submitted a winning bid of $280 million for Furniture Brands at a bankruptcy auction, and on Nov. 25, it renamed the former Furniture Brands to Heritage Home Group.
At the time, KPS said, “This is the beginning of a new era for Heritage Home Group and its brands,” Raquel Vargas Palmer, a partner in KPS, said after the sale. “The company has a new owner, a new CEO, a new board of directors and a new strategic direction. Heritage Home Group launches with truly iconic brands, a solid financial structure and access to KPS’ financial resources and expertise.”
As part of its bid, KPS said it would offer employment to most of Furniture Brands’ employees.
Heritage did not say how many people it was letting go in the company reorganization, in which separate brand presidents would be eliminated and instead be led by a merchandising group.
According to Furniture Today, Heritage Home Group CEO Ira Glazer said layoff are a ”necessary element of our ongoing efforts to create a highly competitive organizational structure.”
Glazer said the number of jobs being kept would exceed the number of those being laid off. Read the rest of this entry »
The Winston-Salem Journal in North Carolina reports that Heritage Home Group is shutting down it’s last two Thomasville furniture facilities. About 80 people will be laid off.
The move was expected, according to the story.
KPS placed all the brands of the defunct company under the newly renamed Heritage Home Group. The brands include Lane, Broyhill, Thomasville, Drexel Heritage, Maitland-Smith, Pearson, Henredon, LaneVenture. Labarge and Hickory Chair.
Lane employed about 1,400 workers across Northeast Mississippi prior to Furniture Brands’ Sept. 9 Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. It’s not known how many it still employs. HHG officials have not returned phone calls or emails seeking additional information.
According to the Winston-Salem Journal:
A Thomasville employee said today that employees “have very much been expecting this and (we) made it a lot longer than we had figured. Many are relieved because the conditions have got so bad in here with inventory and supplies that we can’t complete orders.”
(Heritage Home CEO Ira) Glazer said in a separate memo sent to all Heritage employees Monday that the company was creating a new merchandising group that would have “the best assortment of products across all our brands to satisfy the needs of our core consumers.”
Glazer said in the Monday memo the job cuts “are unfortunately a necessary element of our on-going efforts to create a highly competitive organizational structure. That said, we are proud that the many jobs saved by the formation of Heritage Home and the acquisition of our brands far exceeds the number that are being let go.”