Rendering: Double-decker vehicle bound for eastern L.A. County.

Rendering: Double-decker vehicle bound for eastern L.A. County.

Furniture brand Unisource Solutions Inc. in Pico Rivera announced recently that it launched an in-house design and manufacturing division for its furniture operations.

The company, which was founded in 1987 and has 194 employees, makes office furniture, including custom pieces. Its new design team takes shape as the company gears up for production to meet the “residential style that’s becoming more prevalent in work spaces today,” said Jeffrey Braun, vice president of the company.

“The trend in offices today is agile workspaces,” he said. “Workers might want to work on the sofa with their feet up one day, or they might need a private space with a small desk system the next day. We’re there to address that need. We make sofas, lounge chairs and other office furniture made to withstand heavy-use environment.”

Braun co-founded his own furniture store, Jeffrey Braun Furniture, with his wife in Orange County 20 years ago.

He first worked with Unisource five years ago, when his company became one of several third-party manufacturers that supplied the Pico Rivera company.

“After a close working relationship, it became evident that it made sense to do the designing and manufacturing for Unisource in-house,” Braun said.

Unisource has previously used third-party contract manufacturers to make its product lines. The company hired Braun earlier this year to lead its bid to establish its own manufacturing operations, calling the new division Platform-U.

Braun said he sold his company to another manufacturer – he confirmed that the buyer wasn’t Unisource.

His new employer, meanwhile, has established “five manufacturing operations in the O.C. dealing with upholstery, metal work and cased goods,” he said.

Foothill Transit Doubles Up

A public transit agency that’s funded by 22 member cities in the San Gabriel Valley and Pomona Valley gave a maker of zero-emission batteries and buses a boost with an order for its first double-decker vehicle.

Foothill Transit plans to use the bus on routes from across the eastern half of L.A. County.

Transit bus manufacturer Proterra Inc. last week said that it received the order from Foothill Transit, and will team up on the account with Labert, U.K.-based Alexander Dennis Inc., billed as the world’s largest double-decker bus maker.

The bus will use Burlingame-based Proterra’s electric vehicle battery, the companies said.

“With congestion and local air quality challenges remaining top of every transit authorities’ agenda, we’re excited to raise the bar in Los Angeles County with transit pioneer, Foothill Transit,” said Robert Davey, president of Alexander Dennis, in a statement.

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