Washington County Students Gain Insight into Manufacturing Careers During Tour at Mullican Flooring
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn., Nov. 21, 2023 — In an effort to inspire the next generation of manufacturing workers, Mullican Flooring recently welcomed students from Washington County for tours of the company’s headquarters in Johnson City.
During their visits, career and technical education (CTE) students from Daniel Boone and David Crockett high schools were exposed to the world of manufacturing, particularly the technical processes and employment opportunities available in the hardwood flooring industry.
“Welcoming these classes to our facility is part of our commitment to encourage and educate local students about what it is like to work in manufacturing,” said Kyle Evans, vice president of manufacturing at Mullican. “The students were attentive and engaged during their visits, and we believe they left with a greater understanding of what career options are available to them.”
Both tours began with a brief discussion about Mullican’s almost 40-year history and its operations across four locations — Johnson City; Norton, Virginia; Ronceverte, West Virginia; and Holland, New York. Evans described Mullican’s processes, from bringing green wood into the plant for drying and processing to finishing, packaging and shipping. He also emphasized the company’s commitment to sustainability.
“For every tree we harvest, more than two new trees are planted,” Evans said. “Sustainability is a core value for us, and we are very happy to showcase that to the students.”
Students then donned personal protective equipment and audio headsets and entered Mullican’s production space for an up-close view of the company’s manufacturing process.
“The students were quite surprised at the size of the facility and the amount of flooring produced in our area,” said Daniel Boone teacher Jerry Brewer. “They enjoyed the tour and learning about the company’s history. The benefits of seeing the operation and learning about job opportunities were eye-opening.”
To commemorate their visit, Mullican gifted each student with a wood flooring plank embossed with their respective school’s logo and the tour date, and both schools received a special plank that was signed by each student.
“They (the students) had never seen anything like that and liked seeing how a process plant goes from start to finish,” said David Crockett teacher Aaron Gardner. “They all, as well as myself and (fellow teacher) Daniel Maupin, were very tickled with the piece of flooring that they presented to us.”
The tours also coincided with Manufacturing Month. Promoted each October by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), this initiative shines a spotlight on the importance of the manufacturing sector to the U.S. economy. It also encourages students to pursue manufacturing careers in an effort to fill the millions of jobs that could remain vacant if hiring trends do not change.
“We are committed to addressing these workforce challenges by bringing students into our facility and showing them all the pros of working at Mullican — or the manufacturing sector in general,” Evans said.
For more information about Mullican Flooring, visit www.mullicanflooring.com.
About Mullican Flooring
Founded in 1985 and one of the nation’s top five hardwood flooring producers, Mullican Flooring is headquartered in Johnson City, Tennessee, and operates additional production facilities in Norton, Virginia; Holland, New York; and Ronceverte, West Virginia. The company manufactures and sells more than 1,500 products via a network of 40 distributors and 5,000 retail stores across the United States and Canada. To learn more about Mullican and its products, visit www.mullicanflooring.com.