FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASESeptember 9, 2013
Community Development Foundation Media Contact:Mallory Rutledge: email@example.com (662.842.4521)
Lee County, Miss. (Sept 9, 2013) – Furniture Brands International has filed for bankruptcy and given official notice to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security Commission that over 1,400 employees are expected to be laid off from its Lane Furniture operations in Lee County.
“Today, many of our good, hard-working people have lost their jobs at no fault of their own with the layoff at Lane Furniture Industries," stated Community Development Foundation (CDF) President and CEO, David Rumbarger. “Although we do not influence corporate decisions, we must now work hard to respond to these decisions by transitioning these displaced workers into re-employment."
As part of this effort, CDF and Three Rivers Planning & Development District through The Mississippi Partnership Local Workforce Investment Area, have applied for a National Emergency Grant to provide training and re-employment services to assist the workers affected by the closure of Lane Furniture Industries in successfully finding new jobs in the community. Workers will receive career counseling assistance, job-search assistance, and on-the-job training, among other re-employment services. Workers will meet in groups with members of the Rapid Response Services Team to receive all re-employment training and support services. The Rapid Response Team is compromised of representatives of key local and state agencies that provide resources and services to assist displaced workers.
CDF’s focus is to turn this unfortunate situation into a new opportunity for the workers affected by Lane’s closing. CDF, along with the Lee County Board of Supervisors, Mississippi Development Authority, and Tennessee Valley Authority, have assisted 19 companies locate and/or expand in the community creating over 500 jobs since January. CDF is also working with several other companies that would create even more job opportunities in the near future.
The furniture industry in Northeast Mississippi is very healthy and many of these dislocated workers will have the opportunity to stay in the furniture industry. It is the work ethic of hard workers like those at Lane and others that have made the furniture industry in Northeast Mississippi what it is today.