‘Clean and Green’ Facility Doing Well in Burke

BURKE COUNTY, N.C. (September 4, 2012) – As you step into the lobby at Geiger International in Hildebran it feels more like an office for a New York ad agency than a furniture manufacturer. Sleek, modern chairs stand out against the blue-hued walls. As you move past the lobby and into the manufacturing area words that come to mind are “clean”, “crisp”, “orderly” and “bright”.

“We installed 96% color correct lighting,” explained Geiger Vice President of Seating & Table Operations Jay Rubino. “Sunlight is rated at 100% so we tried to get as close to natural light as we could. It makes for a better work environment for the employees, it just feels better.”

The lighting isn’t the only thing that makes you feel good as you walk through Geiger International, which opened its doors a little more than a year ago. Executives at the company have made every effort to ensure that their facility is as environmentally friendly as possible.

Everything that can possibly be recycled or reused is gathered at stations throughout the building and is donated, sold or used for other purposes. Small pieces of wood are ground into sawdust that Geiger sends just a few miles down the road to Cramer Lumber, who uses it to power their kilns.

From using water based stain to installing energy efficient Halogen convection ovens, the company integrates ‘green’ practices in every aspect of production. The foam they use for seats and chairs – it’s made from soy beans. It’s clear that Geiger, a subsidiary of Herman Miller, isn’t just ‘talking the talk’ about being eco-friendly.

“We like to say that we’re ‘clean and green’,” said Rubino. “Herman Miller has very high environmental standards. They expect us to operate at a level that is above what is required by OSHA or other agencies, and we make every effort to do that.”

A lot of the practices in place aren’t just to be good environmental stewards, Geiger also believes in creating a positive and healthy workplace for their employees. Workstation tables for upholsterers are designed to move up and down like an office chair so they can be adjusted to each employee’s height preference. The ventilation system, which completely cycles the air in the building every 20 minutes, keeps employees from having to wear masks – even while sanding or working with stain.

Holes in the bottom of this wood platform trap all dust created when chairs are sanded and move it out of the building through the ventilation system.

“This isn’t your grandpa’s furniture factory,” said BDI President Scott Darnell. “Furniture facilities today are bright, clean and hi-tech – and Geiger is an excellent example of what a modern furniture company should be like. We are proud to have them here operating in Burke County. They are committed to the environment and they are committed to our area. They strive to work with other local companies and have become part of the business community here.”

According to Rubino, Geiger currently purchases foam, finish, abrasives, hardware and lumber from local suppliers. He also hopes to begin purchasing some fabrics locally in the near future. After a year of operation, executives are happy with the company’s progress and have plans to grow in the coming years.

“We definitely made the right decision coming to Burke County,” added Rubino. “Everyone here was very helpful during the decision process, especially with employee training programs. They told us they were very interested in furniture returning to the area and they have backed it up with their actions.”

Geiger is currently hiring at their facility in Hildebran. They are in need of skilled upholsterers. To apply, visit www.hermanmiller.com/careers or stop by the facility, which is located at 218 Cline Park Drive.

To see more pictures from BDI’s visit of Geiger International please visit our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/BurkeDevelopmentInc).

About Burke Development, Inc.
Burke Development, Inc. (BDI) is a nonprofit organization supported by private and public funding that is charged with accelerating economic growth in Burke County. BDI works with industry leaders, site selection consultants, government agencies and other entities to facilitate expansion strategies for existing businesses and recruit target industries to Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.


Sara Chester

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