September 13, 2023
Jasper, Indiana

In a state where advanced manufacturing operations routinely have more open positions than prospects to fill them, Indiana Furniture is no exception. It is constantly looking for workers who are qualified or willing to train for increasingly technical positions and the industrial maintenance roles that are integral to an automated workplace. Working to fill these roles has occasionally come with additional challenges, as leaders say some potential employees seem complacent about their jobs and their careers.

Two keys to Indiana Furniture’s response to these challenges have been partnering with Vincennes University’s Career Advancement Program (CAP) and hiring young people, most recently two young women, for industrial maintenance positions.

The CAP program has been helpful not only because it is focused on preparing students to work in industrial maintenance but also because, through seven years of collaboration, CAP instructors have learned to identify students who match well with Indiana Furniture and its work. With the experience and classroom learning students gain in the CAP program, they come to the plant floor prepared to contribute right away and learn site-specific skills. This combination of good matches and eager-to-learn students has allowed Indiana Furniture to work with interns who progress to full-time employment.

Indiana Furniture also has specifically sought to place young women in internships. The company points to two young women recently hired as maintenance apprentices as proof of the concept. 

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