US Specialty Textile Manufacturer Invests $3.1 Million To Save 96 Jobs and To Grow the Domestic Textile Industry

Apex Mills is a leading U.S. specialty textiles manufacturer of warp knit fabrics established in 1943 and based in Graham, North Carolina. They have agreed to purchase the former HanesBrands Textiles plant in Right to Work Patrick County, Virginia.

The purchase agreement announced on January 6th, 2023, sees the investment of $3.1 million in the existing HanesBrands textile manufacturing plant and its equipment. This will further ensure the East Coast giant textile’s involvement in the core economy of the Commonwealth and investment in the Patrick County Communities.

Hanesbrands Inc.,¬†founded in 1901, is now a multinational clothing company with over 65,000 employees worldwide. Working closely with Patrick County, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership helped secure the Virginia project. The Governor assisted Patrick County with this project by approving a $300,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund.

In a press release made in Richmond, Virginia, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced that the local government wanted to change the meaning behind the phrase made in America. Youngkin explained that he wanted this phrase actually to mean made in Virginia. This was because of the expansion of the American-made textile company into the East Coast of Virginia.  

He explained that specialty textile manufacturing had been a core component of the local economy across the Commonwealth. This is thanks to the company Apex Mills as they were the ones that single-handedly kept the HanesBrands facility in Virginia running. Nearly 100 jobs would have been lost without them, and the additional 44 jobs would never have happened.   

Further funding for employee training activities will be from the Virginia Jobs Investment Programme. The Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, under the administration of the Virginia Department of House and Community Development, will provide Apex Mills with further state benefits.

Jonathan Kurz, the Apex Mills President and Chief Executive Officer, wrote about how pleased he was with this outcome. Apex Mills has had a family of companies manufacturing local textiles for at least 80 years. Apex Mills continuously seeks new facilities and like-minded communities to expand the textile industry. 

 Kurz said that when Apex Mills became aware that the HanesBrands Woolwine operation was going to close, they knew something they had to do something. Once they learned about the traditions of textile manufacturing in Patrick County, they decided to locate their new facility there. Apex Mills says this would have never happened without the support of the local skilled workforce, Woolwine, state, county, and the local community.   

The direct domestic investment comes as welcome news in light of the current negative sentiment in the U.S. manufacturing industry. This positive investment announcement for the domestic textile industry will save 96 current jobs. An added bonus will be to create another 44 new positions in line with Apex Mills’s plans to increase production in this facility. 

According to Trading Economics, the ISM US Manufacturing PMI ( Purchasing Managers Index) of 48.4 in December 2022 shows the biggest contraction experienced in U.S. manufacturing activity since May 2020. As a result of weakened domestic consumer demand, the PMI has dropped from the high of 64.7 posted in March 2021.

Further good news from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership is that Apex Mills will continue to honor existing contracts held by the Hanes basic apparel brand. Apex Mills has plans to increase production further to utilize the facility’s capacity.

Image courtesy of Apex Mills.