HIGH POINT — The American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) Furniture Foundation has awarded more than $88,000 in grants to support a wide variety of educational initiatives in the home furnishings industry. The 2019 awards target every age group, from children to adult students.

The Furniture Foundation was established in 1948 to support research and educational initiatives aimed at improving management, manufacturing and marketing within the home furnishings industry. Since 1990, it has distributed more than $4.2 million.

The 2019 grants include:

  • $25,000 to establish a Kids Discovery Center at the new American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame in High Point.
  • $25,000 to support WithIt’s Rising Leader Program, which brings promising junior and senior university women to the organization’s annual education and networking conference in June.
  • $15,000 for 60 scholarships to the Alexander Furniture Academy, part of Catawba Valley Community College. The Alexander County academy was launched in 2016 to create a pipeline of workers for the largest industry cluster and economic driver in the western North Carolina region: upholstered furniture. The academy offers sewing and upholstery classes in a simulated factory setting developed in collaboration with local manufacturers. The 24-week program is taught by expert sewing and upholstery workers from nearby companies, including AHFA members Craftmaster, Hancock & Moore, Huntington House, Kincaid and Taylor King.
  • $12,000 to Appalachian State University in Boone to continue the school’s scholarship program for furniture design students.
  • $11,200 to Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, including $6,500 for technology needs and $4,700 for supplies.

The AHFA Furniture Foundation accepts grant proposals in March each year. The foundation board reviews the proposals and makes funding decisions in April.

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