“Jackson Furniture heads to Myrtle,” the bold print at the top of the front page stated.
However, that headline does not spell an end to the company’s commitment to its Tennessee hometown.
The Cleveland-based company announced this week it would be adding a plant in that community, located 46 miles northeast from their most recent plant location in Mantachie purchased two months ago.
Jackson Furniture will occupy a 160,000-square-foot facility in Myrtle that once housed a manufacturing plant for Barclay Furniture. The property includes 19 acres and the company has also acquired 83 acres of adjacent land for future development.
The Mantachie site is a 183,000-square-foot facility on 33 acres. It had been used by two other furnitures companies and has been vacant for more than a year.
Both plants are in the northeast region of Mississippi and within 90 minutes’ driving time of Memphis.
The company received incentives from the Mississippi Development Authority and the Appalachian Regional Commission for renovation, relocation, infrastructure and worker training totalling more than $2 million.
For Jackson Furniture, the opportunity to purchase a property which formerly housed another furniture company made the scenario too good to pass up.
Between the two Mississippi plants, the company says it will employ 250 over the next three years.
Jackson Furniture CEO Ron Jackson said the acquisition of the Mississippi sites should not be taken as any sign the company seeks to abandon its Cleveland plants.
“It’s quite the contrary,” Jackson said. “We were in need of more production space and the Mississippi sites are vacated furniture manufacturing sites in an area where there is major pool of labor who are experienced in the industry. It filled both the facility and labor needs we had at one time.”
He added the need for expansion sites is a show of the strength of the company and Cleveland should not worry about the homegrown industry leaving town.
“We are now running 50 hours per week here in Cleveland,” Jackson said. “We have also been running advertisements seeking additional employees. Those actions should dispel any thought anyone may have had the Mississippi acquisitions would reduce our operations here.”
The press release from the MDA states Jackson Furniture is “headquartered in Cleveland, Tenn.”
“We have been here for 80 years. This is where it all started. There are no plans to change that,” Jackson said.