By Nolan Patrick Smith
High Desert Daily
(Victorville)– United Furniture Industries (UFI) is gearing up for a soft opening this month, with an official opening around December. Yet, it is not too late to apply, as the company looks to hire more employees in the very near future, especially those with upholstery and carpentry skills.
In an exclusive interview at the United Furniture Industries facility, UFI Spokesperson Robert T. Cottam III explained what made the company choose Victorville as its home on the west coast, and what the community can expect employment wise.
United Furniture Industries is one of the largest, domestic upholstered furniture and seating producers in the United States, and with their new facility located on the Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA) in Victorville, they now have a home on the west.
“We are very pleased to be up here. This was an extensive search that we went through to locate a facility in the western United States. One of the reasons we selected Victorville is the proximity to the southern California market and the culture: we like it up here, it’s a working area,” said Cottam, as he mentioned a plethora of cities and states that were all under consideration. The road to selecting Victorville was a strategized and long process.
“We used a decision matrix: we looked at labor markets, transportation, raw material, regulatory climate, incentive, proximity to population centers, proximity to highways, and proximity to major markets. ” Since selecting Victorville, the company has already hired its first wave of employees, but definitely not the last. UFI currently employs around 2,300 employees in their locations across the United States, and looks to keep growing.
“We’re starting training next week, and we will continue to hire as long as we continue to sell furniture. We expect to have a 100+ people employed here by early in the first quarter of 2012, assuming the economy stays stable.” UFI is looking particularly for people with some experience in upholstery, carpentry, as well as seamstresses. They will also train people with good motor skills.
UFI produces sofas, loveseats, motion furniture (recliners), and Simmons Hide-A-Beds as well as more upholstered furniture. United Furniture Industries is the exclusive U.S manufacturer of Simmons upholstery.
Yet, the community benefits in more ways than one might think with UFI now in the High Desert. As Cottam explained, when UFI comes to an area, they create other jobs as well. “We make an extensive effort to buy locally from vendors. Our footprint is fairly large with some vendors: we have two vendors that when we are running full tilt will benefit dramatically from our presence here.”
Staffing services is for UFI is being handled through ICR Staffing Services in Victorville. Colleen Hunt and Adriana Chavez of ICR are the contacts to reach out to in regards to applying for a position with UFI. ICR Staffing can be reached at (760) 245-8384. For more information on United Furniture Industries, you can visit them on the web at http://www.unitedfurnitureindustries.com.