Fruit of the Loom to close Jamestown plant, lay off all 600 workers

JAMESTOWN — Clothing company Fruit of the Loom announced Thursday that it will permanently close its plant in Jamestown and lay off all 600 employees by the end of the year.

The Jamestown plant is the last Fruit of the Loom plant in a state where the company had once been a manufacturing titan second only to General Electric.

State Rep. Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, confirmed the plant manager called him Thursday afternoon with the news.

“Terrible sad day for people in Russell County,” Hoover said. There was no warning of the plant closing, he said.

Layoffs will begin in June.

The company, owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway but headquartered in Bowling Green, said the move is “part of the company’s ongoing efforts to align its global supply chain” and will allow the company to better use its existing investments to provide products cheaper and faster.

The company said it is moving the plant’s textile operations to Honduras to save money.

The company plans to close the plant in phases from June 8 through Dec. 31.

“This decision is in no way a reflection on the dedication and efforts of the employees in our Jamestown facility, but is a result of a competitive global business environment,” Tony Pelaski, executive vice president and chief operating officer, said in a news release.

“It is very devastating,” Hoover said. “Some of the worst news we could possibly hear as a community, not just the 600 jobs but the effect it has on city government, the county government, the school system and local business.”

Hoover said the city of Jamestown gets more than $200,000 a year from occupational tax from plant employees.

He said Fruit of the Loom pays the city $1.6 million a year for the wastewater treatment plant, which was upgraded a few years ago at the request of Fruit of the Loom. “I don’t know how they make the bond payment once Fruit of the Loom leaves,” Hoover said.

State Sen. Sara Beth Gregory said in a statement: “The Fruit of the Loom closure in Jamestown is devastating news not just for Russell County but for the entire region. My prayers are with the families who are impacted by the loss of 600 jobs.”

Russell County Judge-Executive Gary Robertson said he first heard of the pending layoffs on Thursday afternoon. He said that not only was Fruit of the Loom a big employer for Russell County, but for surrounding counties in the Lake Cumberland region as well.

“We have about 2,000 manufacturing jobs in Russell County, and this is going to be about a third of them,” he said. “It’s going to be devastating to our local economy. Everybody’s going to be involved. We in the county will lose revenues. … We’ve got a lot of local banks where people who work there have house payments and car payments. It’s going to affect everybody in our county and in counties around us.”

Lisa Gosser, president of the Russell County chamber of commerce and an employee of the Lake Cumberland development district, said that Fruit of the Loom is the county’s biggest employer, so its loss is harsh on the community.

“We’re doing everything we can to be proactive,” she said, pointing to several automotive-related plants that are now operating in the county.

Fruit of the Loom, which has a history dating to 1851, opened its first Kentucky plant in Frankfort in 1932 with about 100 employees. Other plants followed in 1941 in Bowling Green and in 1947 in Campbellsville. The Frankfort operation was moved to a new, larger building in 1965, and the Jamestown plant opened in 1981, designed to be expanded.

The Frankfort plant, which closed in 2000, employed 280 workers.

The Jamestown plant reached peak employment of 3,247 in 1990.

In 1998, the company closed its 812-worker plant in Campbellsville, devastating the economy of the south-central Kentucky town; the company offered jobs at the Jamestown factory to 100 of the laid-off workers in Campbellsville.

At one time, Fruit of the Loom had more than 11,000 manufacturing and corporate employees at its plants in Jamestown, Frankfort, Campbellsville, Franklin, Greensburg, Princeton and Bowling Green and at its Bowling Green corporate headquarters.

Kentucky once had a major apparel-manufacturing sector before jobs withered away as companies moved production to places with cheaper labor.

Fruit of the Loom’s Jamestown plant lasted longer than most in part because of a pipeline to send salt-laden, treated waste from the factory’s bleaching and dyeing operations into nearby Lake Cumberland.

The pipeline caused protest and years of litigation, pitting concerns that the waste would damage the lake and the tourism industry against fears that what was then the area’s largest employer would close or cut back without it.

The pipeline finally won state approval in 1993.

With the plant closing, only the corporate headquarters and a distribution center, also in Bowling Green, are left in Kentucky, according to company spokesman John Shivel. Both “shall remain,” Shivel said.

The 1987 Kentucky Directory of Manufacturers listed Fruit of the Loom as the second-largest manufacturing employer in Kentucky, behind General Electric.

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Umbrella Man Has It Made In the Shade

By ABC News

By Bryan Hacken and Mark Ellwood

In a world of manufacturing where machines are taking over, and it seems like everything has been outsourced, one man refuses to give in. His name is Barnett Brickner.

Brickner has been spent over 40 years behind a nondescript building in Brooklyn, N.Y., focused on a single mission. To be the country’s leading umbrella man.

Brickner’s grandfather, Morris Brickner, immigrated to New York from Poland in the early 20th century became the first umbrella man in the family. Morris is the founding member of Embee Sunshade.

“When my father and uncle got into the business they wanted to expand the business and they wanted to make the larger beach-garden umbrellas. They wanted to have a real factory where they can actually produce everything themselves. So, they moved into this building where we are sitting right now right now in January of 1940.”

Though Brickner was the boss’s son, he wasn’t afforded any special treatment. “I started off at the bottom rung of the ladder. From sweeping up to putting bell caps at the top of the umbrellas. The menial jobs.” But it was those tasks that gave him the skills to become what he is today.

In his four decades as America’s umbrella man, Brickner has put every other manufacturer in the shade. He’s even supplied Hollywood staples like Woody Allen and Oprah Winfrey with the best of the best. You might ask, why? Well, that’s easy. It’s the quality.

“We don’t skimp on the quality. When other companies have reduced the raw thickness of the aluminum tubing, we kept it the same. Other people change the wire thickness, we kept it the same. We don’t skimp over here. The same quality that was 30, 40 years ago we still have now.”

Although Barnett isn’t a well-known athlete, celebrity or world-renowned doctor, he’s at the top of his industry and loving life.

Source: ABC World News

Who is searching for Made in America products?

Who is searching for Made in America products?  According to research, approximately 150,000,000 US consumers are either very interested or extremely interested in buying Made in America products.  For them, the single greatest deterrent to buying Made in America products is not being able to quickly find them.  Made In America Secrets makes it easy for the US consumer to find and buy any one of thousands of Made in America products.  Made in America Secrets is the only website providing product specific links for 10,000+ Made in the USA products.  Finding any of the American made products in their database is made easy by using their search and navigation buttons. Clicking any of their links that result from searching for products connects the consumer to an online store that sells them.

Be sure to check out Made in America Secrets!

Show your appreciation and give thanks!

Small business is defined to be those businesses with less than 100 employees.  Did you know that 98% of all firms in America have less than 100 employees. We all should give thanks to small business for continuing to make things in the USA. They employ our husbands, wifes, children, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, men, and women. To show your appreciation and give thanks is easy – buy more American made products!

From an unknown source!

We are reprinting something sent to us from an unknown source.  We have not verified everything in this article but thought it is an interesting read:

“Costco sells Goodyear wiper blades for almost half the  price that you will pay on the outside and they are made  in the U.S.A.

Unfortunately our politicians and top CEO’s have pushed  for trade to China and Mexico for years so Americans are now out of work. Did you know that there is no electric coffee maker made in the US and that the only kitchen appliances made in the US is Viking? This information came from a report by Diane Sawyer. Hopefully this has changed or will soon!!

I DIDN’T KNOW HALLMARK CARDS WERE MADE IN CHINA! That is also why I don’t buy cards at Hallmark anymore, they are made in China and are more expensive! I buy
them at Dollar Tree – 50 cents each and made in U.S.A.

I have been looking at blenders available on the Internet. Kitchen Aid is made in the US .. Top of my list already. Yesterday I was in Wal-Mart looking for a Wastebasket. I
found some made in China for $6.99. I didn’t want to pay that much so I asked the lady if they had any others. She took me to another department and they had some for
$2.50 made in the US They are just as good. Same as a kitchen rug I needed. I had to look, but I found some  made in the US – what a concept! – and they were $3.00 cheaper.

We are being Brainwashed to believe that everything that comes from China and Mexico is cheaper. Not So. One Light Bulb at A Time.. I was in Lowe’s the other day and just out of curiosity, I looked at the hose attachments. They were all made in China . The next day I was In Ace Hardware and just for the heck of it I checked the hose attachments there. They were made in USA …

Start looking, people. In our current economic situation, every little thing we buy or do effects someone else – most often, their Job.

My Grandson likes Hershey’s candy. I noticed that it is Now Marked “made in Mexico”. I don’t buy it anymore. My Favorite toothpaste Colgate is made in Mexico ……  Now I have switched to Crest.

You have to read the Labels on everything.

This past weekend I was at Kroger. I needed 60W light bulbs and Bounce dryer Sheets. I was in the light bulb aisle, and right next to the GE brand I normally buy was an off-brand labeled, “Everyday Value.” I picked up both types of bulbs and compared them: they were the same except for the price. The GE bulbs cost more than the Everyday Value brand, but the thing that surprised me the most was the GE was made in MEXICO and the
Everyday Value brand was made in – you guessed it – the USA at a company in Cleveland , Ohio.

It’s way past time to start finding and buying products you use every day that are made right here.

So, on to the next aisle: Bounce Dryer Sheets. Bounce cost more money and is made in Canada. The Everyday Value brand cost Less, And was made in the USA! I did laundry yesterday and the dryer sheets performed just like the Bounce Free I have been using for years, at almost half the Price.

MY CHALLENGE TO YOU IS to start reading the labels. When you shop for everyday things and see what you  can find that is made in the USA. The job you save may  be your own or your neighbor’s!

Stop buying from overseas companies – you’re sending Let’s get with the program and help our fellow Americans keep their jobs and create more jobs here in the USA. “

One Year Made in USA License

The FTC Made In USA labeling standard is vague and confusing. Made in America Secrets has studied this issue extensively. Their two research reports Validating The Marketing Campaign and  Labeling Knowledge and Reliance Upon provide details about the Made in USA labeling problems caused by the FTC standard. Their Marketing Plan presents a comprehensive integrated solution for the FTC standard. One component of the solution is a Certified Mark for Made in USA products.

Visit Made In USA Content website, which provides a solution for making Made In USA labeling claims. This solution enables Made In USA manufacturers to claim US content with heightened confidence of compliance with the FTC standard. Making the Made In USA claim allows the manufacturer to successfully market their products to a large and growing group of US consumers. Their research identifies the consumers that are interested in buying Made In USA goods and the conclusions of our research show how to gain maximum benefit from the use of their Certified Mark.

Also, their license provides a calculation methodology and a corresponding standardized Certification Mark that clearly communicate the amount of US content in US manufactured products. The calculation and Certification Mark communicate the total amount of US labor and US material costs expressed as a percentage of the total labor and material costs of the product. Additionally, the calculation and mark are transparent enough to for making both unqualified and qualified claims.

At $240 per year the license is inexpensive, considering the licensee can use it on an unlimited number of products.

Quality is more important than price!

According to research done by Made in America Research, LLC, there is a huge interest in purchasing Made in USA goods and Quality is more important than price.

From a demographically representative sample of the US, 67% of the respondents, which is equivalent to approximately 153,000,000 consuming Americans, are either very interested or extremely interested, in purchasing Made in USA products.  If we include those that are somewhat interested in purchasing Made in USA products the size of the group increases by 81,000,000 to approximately 214,000,000 of the total consumer base of 233,000,000.     

This interest is greatest among females, Midwesterners, and whites – additionally the Southern and Northeast Regions have a heightened interest.

These statistics are consistent with the Packaging World report that says shoppers 35 years and older are the most likely to be influenced by products label Made in USA.

 This interest is lowest among the age group 18-34 years old and those with incomes less than $50K per year

This survey says 55% of all US consumers say Quality is the most important consideration when making a decision to purchase a product.  The price of the product is second followed by safety.

When choosing between a Made in China product and a Made in USA product quality is top on the consumers decision tree.  Quality is followed by price and then country of origin.  The survey found quality at the top and that is consistent with what others, like the DNS News have found.

Fox River Mills : An American Made Company

Since its beginning in the Fox River Valley of Appleton, Wisconsin, in 1900, Fox River Mills, Inc. (now based in Osage, Iowa) has been committed to producing quality knitted socks and handwear. Fox River was founded on the principle of offering a superior product with great service at a fair price. Today, Fox River Mills is one of the leading outdoor, athletic, and lifestyle sock manufacturers in the world.

Fox River Mills, Inc


Additional American Made products in the American Apparel & Clothing category: Made in the USA Stretch SocksToters JeansPainted TeesStretch TightsVestsWomens RobesSolid Color SocksMedical Dresses & ShirtsVest ExtendersSnap Shirts,Waist CinchersHybrid V-NecksOuterwear – Coats/JacketsEco Friendly JacketsFashionable HeadbandsMountain Stretch JacketsJackets3/4 Sleeve Tops1/2 Sleeve TopsLeather Wind ScarfsMotorcycle Jeans.

Gat Creek: American Made Furniture

Gat Creek builds furniture specifically for you. They don’t import or don’t run an assembly line. Each piece is hand-made from solid Appalachian Cherry and personally signed by the person who builds it.  Gat Creek makes all types of furniture: dining, kitchen, and bedroom. We are particularly fond of their American Made bar stools.

Gat Creek 2


More Made in America products in the American Furniture & Home Decor category: Made in the USA Bar Stools / BarstoolsDoor SwagsNapkin HoldersArm ChairsCasual / Transitional RugsCandlesBunk Bed Under Bed ChestsAnti-Microbial ShadesKitchen IslandsFlag Pole OrnamentsChildren’s FurnitureThermometers ChandeliersSteel Blackboards,ArmoiresLaundry BasketsDream CatchersVotivesNative American PotteryFaux Wood BlindsCurios. All from great Made in the USA manufacturers. We link the consumer to thousands of American Made products in over fifty categories.