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Ashley Furniture to open facility in Chippewa Falls, add 200 jobs

Published: Jun. 1, 2021 at 4:20 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 10:39 PM CDT
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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) - Ashley Furniture announced Tuesday, June 1 it plans to open a new facility in Chippewa Falls, creating 200 jobs.

“I’m very excited. I think this is a great opportunity,” Chippewa Falls Mayor Gregory Hoffman said.

Hoffman said he’s been working to diversify his city’s economy for about 13 years. He called Tuesday’s news another positive step towards achieving his economic goals.

“This is the first of this type of industry in the city,” he said. “So once again, we add another industry that diversifies what we have in manufacturing so we’re not heavily dependent on one.”

Ashley Furniture bought the facility from Spectrum Industries in April according to Chippewa County records.

Cole Bawek, Ashley Furniture’s Director of Public Relations, said the Arcadia-based company chose Chippewa Falls because of its rich manufacturing history and the ability to tap into a new labor market.

“We do business in a worldwide market and this new location in Chippewa Falls is going to be able to compliment our Arcadia manufacturing, distribution operations to better serve our communities and to better serve our customers worldwide,” he said.

Ashley’s 200 future employees won’t be the only people feeling the new plant’s impact.

“The more people are working, the more they spend that money, that’s going to have an economic impact, a multiplier effect that’s going to go through. When you add 200 jobs into Chippewa Falls, that’s going to be a win for the retail merchants and everything. When they go to lunch, when they spend their paychecks, that’s going to be great,” Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Charlie Walker said.

Chippewa Falls Area Chamber of Commerce President Mike Jordan agrees with Walker’s assessment.

“Anytime you can get a project with a couple hundred jobs coming to your community, that’s a significant dollars in terms of wages, and so having that money into not just Chippewa Falls but the Chippewa Valley will be good for the entire valley,” he said.

“Anytime you create jobs, you really create more wealth for the entire community,” Bawek said.

“It’s just a huge addition and I’m very pleased that we’re here. I’m very pleased that they’re coming. I’m excited and I think the Chippewa Valley should be excited and I think I would expect that more jobs should follow,” Hoffman said.

He said the city didn’t have to give Ashley Furniture any financial or other incentives to open the plant.

Bawek said the new plant won’t affect the company’s Arcadia operations.

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The company says hiring started in May, with production set to begin in June. The jobs will include new manufacturing and office positions. The 127,000 square foot facility will be located at 925 First Avenue and will serve as an upholstery furniture manufacturing site. The Chippewa Falls site will work in coordination with Ashley’s Arcadia facility.

“The high demand for furniture has led us to increase our manufacturing operations which supports brick-and-mortar retail, as well as our e-commerce growth. We couldn’t be more thrilled to join the Chippewa Falls community; with a rich history and many other Wisconsin-based businesses in the surrounding area, we feel right at home,” said Todd Wanek, President and CEO, Ashley Furniture Industries.

To learn more about Ashley Furniture Industries and view job openings in Chippewa Falls, click HERE.

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