Ethan Allen looks for new hires to expand production in Vermont
November 8, 2021 | 12:29 pm CST
Ethen Allen handcrafted furniture.

Ethen Allen wants to hire more workers in Vermont to increase production capacity.

DANBURY, Conn. -- Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. is actively recruiting new employees for its manufacturing operations in both Beecher Falls and Orleans, Vermont, despite escalating manufacturing costs.

“We are pleased to see our business continue to be strong as we work to deliver customer orders and help them make their home a haven,” said Farooq Kathwari, president and CEO of Ethan Allen. “Our commitment to manufacturing most of our own products has proven both a strategic and a branding advantage. We are fortunate to have maintained and grown our manufacturing facilities in North America which enables us to be in a better position to serve our clients. We also continue to make major investments in technology.”
Kathwari said the company’s roots in Vermont spans nearly 90 years. The company was started in Beecher Falls, Vt., in 1932, and “many of the associates in our Vermont plants are from families that have worked with us for generations.”

Kathwari continued, “However, during the last twenty years our production in Vermont has had major declines due to a number of factors including the shortage of labor and the escalation of manufacturing costs. Our growth and future expansion depends on attracting and retaining strong talent while also controlling major costs of manufacturing in Vermont including escalating state income taxes, property taxes, and costs of electricity.”

As part of its strategy to attract and retain strong talent, the Company increased its starting wage to $16.00 and provided increases for more experienced associates, a move that Kathwari hopes will attract and retain a new generation of craftspeople to Ethan Allen’s team of artisans. 

“Competitive wages, along with our strong focus on safety, excellent medical benefits, steadfast environmental commitment, and unrivaled reputation for quality has always made our workshops an exceptional place to build a career,” Kathwari noted.

In addition to two manufacturing workshops in Vermont, Ethan Allen also operates a Design Center on the western side of the state in Shelburne. The company owns and operates nine manufacturing facilities located in the U.S., Mexico, and Honduras, including one sawmill, one rough mill, and a lumberyard. Approximately 75% of its products are manufactured or assembled in these North American facilities.

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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).