Columbia manufacturing plant to close - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Columbia manufacturing plant to close

By Jeff Daley

COLUMBIA, MS (WDAM)  Orleans Furniture of Columbia will close the doors on their manufacturing plant and layoff 75 employees effective Friday.  The plant has been a mainstay in the community for nearly 60 years.

Citing the recession and an inability to compete with  foreign trade, especially with China, CEO Ed Marshall said the company had no other alternative. 

He said because furniture is most often discretionary spending for consumers, the furniture industry is most often the first to be affected in a recession and the last to recover.

Columbia Mayor Reed Houston said the company has taken several steps to lessen the impact of the layoffs on the employees.

"They have people coming in here from the unemployment office to help get them signed up," said Houston. "They have in insurance people, Cobra has been brought in. They have petitioned the government he said for an act that was enacted when all these jobs were going overseas which has impacted them to get assistance, job training for those who have lost their jobs because of that.

The company will retain 20 to 25 employees to operate the import side of the business which they say will remain in operation.

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