Ashley career day events: inspiring tomorrow's workforce
Ashley Furniture

Some of the students participating in Ashley's Design Day events.

ARCADIA, Wis. – Ashley Furniture Industries LLC recently hosted a series of Career Day events to inspire students about their futures and introduce them to working in the industry. The residential furnishings giant opened its doors to more than 100 high school students from Arcadia, Blair-Taylor, Cochrane-Fountain City, Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, Independence and Whitehall to visit the company's Arcadia, Wisconsin-based advanced manufacturing and distribution facility.  

Ashley Furniture
Some of the students participating in IT and Manufacturing Day events.

Participating students were invited to Career Day events focused on a variety of areas including: Design; Transportation, Distribution & Diesel Mechanics; IT and Manufacturing; and Business. Students were given the opportunity to tour the facility and different workspaces, and to hear from professionals about their skills, job duties, and work experience in the industry. 

Ashley Furniture
Students participate in a Business Day event.

Ashley's Career Day events offered a range of opportunities: 

  • Design Day: students met with team members to get a first-hand look at the design studio and the product design process at Ashley.  
  • Transportation, Distribution & Diesel Mechanics Day: students visited the truck shop and had the opportunity to sit inside a state-of-the-art tractor during their tour.  
  • IT and Manufacturing Day: students got a behind-the-scenes look at Ashley robotics and visited the data center.  
  • Business Day: students participated in Mini Business World in partnership with Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC). During the session, students were challenged to design and present a product and competed for the title of best product and presentation based on their innovation, teamwork, and overall presentation.  
Ashley Furniture
Learning the system during a Transportation, Distribution and Diesel Mechanics Day event. 

“It was amazing to see firsthand how Ashley programs, tests, and uses robots in their manufacturing process,” said Coltyn Pronschinske, a sttudent in the Independence School District. “Participating in career day helped me to see the use of robotics in a small town like Arcadia and gave me a look at future career opportunities available to me.”  

“Mini Business World provided students the opportunity to bring their creativity, leadership, and marketing skills to a lively competitive event,” said Peg Baumgartner, Business Instructor at Arcadia High School. “This program is not just for students interested in business, it’s built to teach all students the power of creating, building, and strategizing. Thank you, Ashley and WMC for your dedication to fostering future entrepreneurs.” 

Ashley Furniture
Learning about decorative surface materials and more during the Design Day events.

Well known for its commitment to the community, Ashley also continues to strengthen long-time partnerships with K-12 and post-secondary schools investing in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)-based learning opportunities, scholarships, instructor-based training, robotics programs, and exposure to technical trades and career opportunities. As manufacturing continues to advance, Ashley has stated it believes in the importance of educating and training the current and future workforce. 

Ashley Furniture
Another picture from  IT and Manufacturing Day.

Established in 1945 and headquartered in Arcadia, Wisconsin, Ashley is the largest manufacturer of home furnishings in the world. The company is #1 on the FDMC 300, a ranking of the largest wood products manufacturers in North America, based on sales.


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About the author
Karen Koenig | Editor

Karen M. Koenig has more than 30 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As editor of special publications under the Woodworking Network brand, including the Red Book Best Practices resource guide and website, Karen’s responsibilities include writing, editing and coordinating of editorial content. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media. She can be reached at [email protected]