KI to shed 68 jobs in Pontotoc, Tupelo

By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal

KI is shifting production from its Mississippi operations, which will result in the closure of its Pontotoc facility and a realignment of its Tupelo plant.
It also means the loss of 37 jobs in Pontotoc and another 31 in Tupelo.
The Tupelo facility, which makes folding tables, will become a warehouse and distribution center. Some light manufacturing will continue there, mostly upholstery processes, said Tom Abrahamson, KI’s vice president of manufacturing operations.
The Pontotoc plant made chairs and stools, and a company news release said the Tupelo plant makes similar products. Production of those items will be shifted to the company’s plant in Bonduel, Wis.
“These changes are based purely on economic conditions and business realities and in no way reflect upon the performance of our employees at our Mississippi locations or the quality of the products they produce,” Abrahamson said.
KI, which makes furniture and wall systems for the education, health care, government and corporate markets, said the decision to realign manufacturing and distribution was made after an extensive company-wide review.
Abrahamson said only operations at the Pontotoc and Tupelo locations were affected.
The Tupelo facility opened in 1964, while the Pontotoc plant opened in 1999.
Abrahamson said the changes would begin in January and be completed by June.
Employees laid off in Pontotoc and Tupelo will be able to apply for the same positions in Wisconsin, Abrahamson said.

Click video to hear audio