HIGH POINT, N.C. – The Furniture Foundation, a research and education fund administered by the American Home Furnishings Alliance, has awarded 2018 grants totaling $80,000 to support education programs targeting furniture design students, new upholstery workers, young executives and university students.
The Foundation was established in 1948 to support research and educational initiatives aimed at improving management, manufacturing and marketing within the home furnishings industry. Since 1990, the Foundation has distributed more than $4.1 million in scholarships and grants.
The 2018 awards include the following:
• $20,000 to fund WithIt’s Rising Leader Program, which brings 20 promising junior and senior university women to the organization’s annual education and networking conference in June, paying for their registration, housing and travel. WithIt is a women’s leadership development network for the home furnishings industry.
• $19,000 to support the Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) Furniture Academy in Hickory, N.C. The grant is earmarked for the purchase of laptop computers for classes including Furniture Fundamentals, Pattern-Making and AutoCAD for Furniture, as well as for industry workshops and training. The equipment expansion will allow the Academy to increase its training capacity, increase class size and offer all classes at the same facility.
• $19,000 for sewing machines at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, which is developing a new facility for its Furniture Institute to better meet the needs of its industry partners. Located in Hudson, N.C., the new facility will have a dedicated upholstery room and a dedicated cutting and sewing room.
• $12,000 to Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., to continue the school’s scholarship program for furniture design students. The grant will fund four $3,000 scholarships for the 2018-2019 school year – up from three scholarships funded last year. ASU’s furniture design program provides students with a bachelor of science in industrial design focused on product development, creative problem-solving, environmental concerns and manufacturing requirements.
• $10,000 to the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation to help underwrite a new one- to two-day training program offering two levels of executive development experiences to industry executives – one for those ages 25 to 35 and one for those ages 35 to 50. The Foundation anticipates the inaugural event will be held in late fall 2018.
The AHFA Furniture Foundation accepts grant proposals in March each year. The Foundation board reviews the proposals and makes funding decisions in April.