Gov. Haley Barbour announced yesterday that United Chair, owned by Haworth, Inc. of Holland, Mich., is adding 125 jobs at its Bruce, Miss., location. The addition of jobs in north Mississippi is part of Haworth's consolidation of its North American operations, which also includes closing a Michigan plant where it currently employs 350 people.
The new jobs at United Chair will reportedly pay an average of $13.44 per hour, and the expansion will nearly double its current work force of 180. Haworth serves an international market, with distribution in 120 countries, and employs 7,400 worldwide, with 2,000 workers in Michigan, down from 2,700 in the last year.
According to an Associated Press story published on Mlive.com in Michigan, Haworth's consolidation reflects the difficult economic times.
"This is a strong commitment by Haworth to weather tough economic times," said Kevin Bailey, head of the company's North American operations.
Mississippi provided Haworth, a privately held company with 2008 net sales of $1.65 billion (down 1 percent over 2007), with incentives to expand.
The Mississippi Development Authority, the state's economic agency, provided the company $500,000 for infrastructure improvements at the Mississippi plant and for costs of relocating equipment from Michigan. The company also will receive $219,000 in federal money from the Appalachian Regional Commission and about $115,000 from the city of Bruce and Calhoun County, Barbour said.
"It's a tribute to the quality of our work force," Barbour said.
While I am grateful for even one new job, is this supposed to make us forget the unemployment money he is refusing to take from the stimulus package? Just how many people would that help put food on the table?
Yay for Mississippi, but sucks for Michigan, though. That state's been getting hammered with job losses.
- golden eagle