TUPELO, Miss. – A new Furniture Academy at Mississippi State University (MSU) will show aspiring workers how to make furniture.

Nearby community colleges and economic development groups are working with furniture makers to create the 28-hour program, which is an introduction to how the industry works. The academy includes training in teamwork and problem solving, developing a work ethic and gaining financial awareness and life skills.

With a $12 billion economic impact in Mississippi, the furniture industry includes manufacturers and suppliers that employ about 60,000 people directly and indirectly.

The Furniture Academy is funded through a $250,000 state grant. It begins Feb. 13, with a goal of signing up 300 people. The free program will take two to three weeks to complete.

Classes will be taught at Itawamba Community College and Northeast Mississippi Community College, which will set a schedule based on the needs of those who enroll.

The Furniture Academy’s $250 tuition fee will be waived for the first 300 individuals who enroll thanks to a grant from MDA. Learn more at http://trpdd.com/workforce/academy