ARCHDALE, N.C. (WGHP) — Local business leaders are reacting after the United Furniture Industries mass layoff.

The news of the terminations and loss of benefits went out in a text to about 500 former UFI Piedmont employees.

Local companies have been stepping up and encouraging those workers to apply for their companies.

Many of the companies we spoke to Tuesday have not made any hires just yet. They hope getting the word out will help them reel in some qualified applicants.

“We immediately wanted to reach out to help. These are our neighbors. They are in our industry, and we want to make sure they are aware that we have openings here that many may be qualified for,” Karen Fishel said.

Fishel oversees the Human resources Department for Furnitureland South in Jamestown.

She was saddened to learn just days before the Thanksgiving holiday that hundreds of people lost their jobs and benefits.

“It’s a tough time of year to be without employment, without benefits. The way in which it was done, the way in which it was communicated. I think there are a lot of whys out there.
No one really knows all the whys, yet I know it was a hard hit to a lot of families,” Fishel said.

The company is looking to fill 25 positions.

  • home delivery drivers
  • material handlers (all three shifts)
  • forklift operators (all three shifts)
  • customer service/account managers
  • shop technicians
  • delivery coordinators
  • sales

‘It’s a traumatic experience for anyone who is going through that right at the holidays,” said Kathy Headen, human resources manager at Universal Preserveachem.

The company imports and distributes natural ingredients and chemicals. Headen says the company is looking to fill about eight employees at their Mebane location.

“Money very well plays a big portion of our lives. We have to have it. If it’s anything that I can do, I’m more than happy to be a part of the collective and help in any manner,” she said.

Over in Thomasville, the president and CEO of Tomlinson Companies, Rod Lambeth, currently has about 85 employees.

They are looking to add about a dozen more.

“In the environment like we have, most people who need a job in the furniture end can probably find one. But whether or not it’s the same exact thing they were doing, I don’t know.
It’s a tough situation. We hope to take advantage of people looking at openings that we have, and we can fill them,” he said.

Company leaders hope one closed door at UFI will open up many more for future employees

“We all have servant hearts in this community, and we want to make sure we’re reaching out to help our brothers and sisters where we can and offer them employment,” Fishel said.

Beginning Dec. 1, Furnitureland South will host its “Open Interview Days”.

Interested candidates may drop by the corporate office for an open interview between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. through Dec. 9.

Someone from the operations team will interview them as soon as they are available. If they are extended a contingent offer, they can be employed with the company upon completing and passing the required pre-employment screenings.

For more information about any of the job openings, you can contact the company, and they will point you in the right direction.