December 14, 2017 – HIGH POINT, N.C. – The Furniture Foundation, a research and education fund administered by the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA), has awarded a second 2017 grant to support the Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) Furniture Academy in Hickory, N.C.
“Our grants are typically announced in May, but this year we became aware of a special need at the new CVCC Furniture Academy campus and decided to make a second allocation,” said Andy Counts, CEO of AHFA and administrator of the Foundation. In May the Academy received Foundation grants for student scholarships and equipment purchases.
CVCC began its Furniture Academy in 2015 in a 6,000-square-foot training area located on the college’s East Campus in Hickory. Due to growing demand for skilled upholsterers and sewers, in 2016 the program expanded into a 38,400-square-foot building developed as a state-of-the-art training facility. One amenity the facility lacks, however, is internet service. A December grant from the Furniture Foundation will enable CVCC to run fiber optics to the facility and obtain internet connectivity.
“This grant will allow us to increase our instructional capacity at the Furniture Academy and have offices, a ‘smart’ classroom and a conference center on site. This facility will not only be utilized by our students, but will serve as a state-of-the-art facility for student recruitment, industry workshops, events, and training,” explained Lori Price, director of CVCC’s Customized Industry Training and Workforce Development Innovation Center.
The Academy has 100 percent job placement for graduates of the program. “With (the Foundation’s) help, we have been able to increase the number of skilled workers for the furniture industry and provide the training necessary for these individuals to obtain a lucrative career,” Price added.
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 $3.5 million in scholarships and grants. Grant proposals are accepted in March each year, and funding decisions are announced in May.