FLINT TWP, MI – A Lansing-based company is set to occupy a vacant 41,000-square-foot space inside the former Furniture Row building in Flint Township.
Peckham Inc. is expected to begin renovations in February to the building at 3080 S. Linden Road for approximately 30,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 8,000 square feet of office and classroom space.
Industrial sewing, office space, an internet café, on-site wellness center and job training rooms in the space will come along with 200 sewing machine jobs over the course of the next 12 to 18 months for people with disabilities.
The sewing jobs come through Peckham Manufacturing, a business line of Peckham Inc., which provides high-performance fleece and extreme cold weather clothing for the Armed Forces and commercial market.
Peckham Inc. is a nonprofit vocational rehabilitation organization that provides paid job training opportunities for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment with businesses in Michigan, Arizona and Kentucky.
“As a community organization with a mission to help those with barriers reach their full potential, it made sense for us to grow our services in Flint, our neighboring community,” said Mitchell Tomlinson, Peckham’s president and chief executive officer. “Peckham believes in the strong spirit of this community, and we want to collaborate with others who believe in the city’s potential to create more pathways to meaningful employment for this talented workforce.”
Tracey Tucker, the township’s economic enhancement director, began talks with Peckham in November and worked with the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce on the move.
“Peckham is an innovative company that has provided great employment opportunities for people with disabilities,” said Tim Herman, CEO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. “Its investment also will return a large vacant building on Linden Road to productive use. And as an apparel manufacturer, the company’s expansion here shows that our diversification efforts are paying off. This is a win for Flint and Genesee on multiple fronts. We’re pleased to welcome Peckham to our community.”
Furniture Row closed its Linden Road store in January 2014 to, according to Flint Journal records. The planning commission voted Monday, Feb. 18 to approve a special land use — due to the industrial sewing — and site plan.
Karyn Miller, Flint Township supervisor, called the plan “very exciting, good news.”
“Especially exciting is the opportunity for people with a variety of disabilities to secure a good paying job with benefits and excellent training resources,” she said.
The job opportunities are full-time with health benefits and start at $10 per hour. Additional job opportunities are also available for individuals without disabilities.