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Textile Investments Announced In North Carolina, Virginia, New York

The news isn't all bad for US textile manufacturers and their employees. Despite stories of plant closings and job losses blamed on cheap imports and outsourcing, there are some bright spots, particularly in niche markets, where investments are being made and jobs created. State economic development agencies are supporting some of these enterprises by offering grants and other incentives.

North Carolina recently awarded One North Carolina Fund grants totaling $500,000 to assist four textile makers with their endeavors. Cedartown Manufacturing a joint venture between Gildan Activewear Inc., Montreal; and Frontier Spinning Mills Inc., Sanford, N.C. will invest $25 million to open a cotton yarn spinning plant in Clarkton, creating 134 jobs. Nonwovens producer Polymer Group Inc., North Charleston, S.C., will expand its Mooresville operation, investing $40 million and adding 49 jobs.

In another nonwovens expansion, Avgol America Inc., a subsidiary of Avgol Industries, Israel, will invest $27 million and add 40 jobs at its Mocksville plant. Kordsa USA Inc. will invest $22 million to update and expand its tire cord fabric twisting and weaving plant in Laurel Hill, adding seven jobs. Other growth in North Carolina is due to the establishment of Colortex USA LLC's North American headquarters and operations in Gastonia. The subsidiary of Colortex BVBA, Belgium, is investing $2 million in machinery and equipment to finish knitted mattress fabrics, and initially will employ 30 people. In Virginia, Narricot Industries LP, Philadelphia, a manufacturer of side-impact airbags and nylon and polyester webbing products for automotive and defense applications, will invest $20 million at two plants. The company will expand airbag production at its Mecklenburg County plant and consolidate seat belt production at its Southampton County plant, adding 138 jobs.

Expansions also are planned in other states. BMP America Inc., Medina, N.Y., a producer of textile components for business machines, will invest $2 million to add 40,000 square feet to its plant and create 10 new jobs. BMP will receive 120 kilowatts of low-cost hydropower from the New York Power Authority's Niagara Power Project in return for the added jobs. Shaw Industries Inc, Dalton, Ga., is expanding its Thomson, Ga., nylon extrusion plant (See " Shaw To Expand Thomson Nylon Extrusion Facility," www.TextileWorld.com, May 2005).

May 2005