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Victorville furniture company brings new jobs

September 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Despite the high unemployment rate, there are some encouraging signs about the economy in Southern California. One company is bringing in hundreds of new jobs. That's welcome news in a town hard hit by the economy.

The site of the old George Air Force Base is home to huge warehousing facilities that are generating job growth in the high desert.

Next month United Furniture Industries (UFI) will be moving in, adding to the growing number of manufacturing and distribution businesses in Victorville.

"I am very excited about this. Four hundred jobs is a big deal for the Victor Valley and we're excited here in Victorville to see this company coming here," said Victorville Mayor Ryan McEachron.

Its welcome news to a community struggling with a 17-percent unemployment rate.

Victorville resident Tanya Herchelroath says she's been looking for job for the past two years will little success.

"Right now it's I'll take whatever, that's just how desperate I am to find a job right now," said Herchelroath.

Once UFI establishes its operations, it will produce and ship sofas, recliners and sectionals for the Simmons brand.

For now the half-million square feet of warehouse space sits empty, but by next month UFI hopes to have it buzzing with activity when it starts to hire its workforce.

The San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board is bracing for a flood of applicants when it hosts a job fair in mid-October.

The Mississippi-based company will initially hire 100 workers and gradually increase its payroll to 400 employees.

"They're going to be looking for people that are familiar with pneumatic, general assembly processes, then because there is a distribution component it's going to be forklift operators and warehouse managers and things of the sorts," said Victorville Assistant City Manager Keith Metzler. "It will be fairly diverse."

Drew Kelley plans to apply for a job with the company once it starts accepting applications. The single mother currently works at a local pizza parlor but says it's tough making ends meet on minimum wage.

"I need a better job than what I have now," said Kelley. "It would be more helpful. Benefits would be good for my daughter. For me and my daughter to live better."

As a community, Victorville residents will also benefit from taxes generated by the property.


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