SHC Furniture LLC was founded in 2008 on the premise of creating quality, custom made wood furniture at a price point that was competitive with Signature HealthCARE had previously been purchasing for its nursing homes.

SHC Furniture LLC launched its manufacturing operation in Bluff City, TN, producing desks, night stands, wardrobes, nursing stations, cabinets and other pieces exclusively for Signature HealthCARE.

In 2010, a new opportunity arose: the potential to partner with the Seventh Day Adventist Boarding Academy which operates on the same campus as Signature’s newly acquired The Bridge at Highland Serenity nursing facility in Portland, Tennessee. In January 2012 the partnership was realized and SHC Furniture relocated its manufacturing plant to a 27,000-square-foot facility located on the same campus as the school and nursing home.

Signature invested more than $500,000 in renovations and equipment to create a plant where academy students could work safely while earning money to help pay for their education. The furniture is engineered by state-of-the-art computer numerical control (CNC) machines. Student opportunities include training in the design process and assembly work under the direction of experienced furniture makers who are full-time employees of SHC Furniture.

Today, Signature employs nearly 30 Academy students on the Portland campus. In addition to gaining work experience with SHC Furniture assembly and design, they also have opportunities to work as office assistants for SHC Construction and in various departments at The Bridge at Highland.

The plant also serves as a physical manifestation of Signature HealthCARE’s three cultural pillars: Spirituality, Learning and Intra-preneurship. “We were able to take our core business – nursing homes – and combine all of our pillars at one location,” said Donna Bushey, General Manager of SHC Furniture. “So it was just a really unique opportunity.”

While Donna and her team plan to grow the company strategically, the opportunities are vast. Ms. Bushey envisions plants in locations across the country similar to the one in Tennessee, as SHC Furniture branches out to produce goods for other industries.