Chuck Wilson, Plant Manager, Parkdale

Chuck Wilson, Plant Manager, Parkdale

Chuck Wilson, 68, has worked in textiles for 43 years – with no plans to retire from an industry he loves.

He joined Parkdale, the largest yarn producer in the U.S., as a supervisor in 2001, and the next year was asked to start up a new yarn-twisting plant for the company in Mount Holly, N.C. Today, Chuck manages a Parkdale facility that grew from 20 employees to 75.

Chuck takes immense pride in his work, adding that his employees are equally as passionate about the products they make. Every package of yarn must meet exact technical specifications in order to process properly at the next step, he adds.

“I let them know that they are important, that everybody’s important to the whole and that the product they make is important,” Chuck says. “We keep open lines of communication, and I keep them posted on how we’re doing as a plant and a company.”

As a testament to his love for the industry, after joining Parkdale, Chuck kept his home in Spartanburg, S.C., and has commuted about 124 miles round-trip every day since. He’s now on his third car after logging nearly 500,000 miles on his first vehicle and about 200,000 miles on this second car. And he’s still chugging along.

“It’s been a great career for me, and great for my family,” Chuck says. “I would never have the quality of living I’ve had without textiles. The industry has been good to me and many of the people I’ve met are lifelong friends. I’m blessed.”

When severe shortages arose in in U.S. and global PPE in the early days of the pandemic, Parkdale was one of the first companies to step forward to help, leading a coalition of U.S. textile and apparel makers that worked with the federal government to address this issue. Since then, Parkdale and its partners have produced millions of PPE items, including face masks and gowns, for frontline workers as well as consumers.

Chuck’s plant was able to quickly retool its production for PPE inputs, a job every employee there takes seriously, he says.

We’re helping supply people what they need on the frontline and we’re going to win this battle. We want to win – that’s the American spirit.

“We look at this as a battle against an invisible enemy,” he says. “When you see war movies, you see soldiers fighting but you don’t see what goes in to support them. My brother was in Operation Desert Storm, and he was in support. He didn’t fight, but he helped provide the materials for the frontline. Without those materials, the soldiers can’t fight. And that’s the same thing with the PPE. We’re helping supply people what they need on the frontline and we’re going to win this battle. We want to win – that’s the American spirit. If you look at history, you will see how many people have come together to protect this country.”

Winning that battle means providing equipment to keep the American citizenry safe, of course, but an underlying purpose exists, as well, Chuck says.

“This is our country and we don’t want people to suffer,” he says. “These are our brothers and sisters. And it’s not just about making money, not at all. It’s about their safety, yes, but it’s also about helping the people of the United States enjoy their freedoms because you’re not free when you’re not able to leave your home. The necessary PPE allows you to go to the church of your choice, go to the stores of your choice or just go outside your home. It helps give you freedom.”

As lawmakers consider potential policies to confront existing PPE shortages, Chuck says they should look to craft domestic purchase requirements such as those in the Berry and Kissell amendments that are already in place for the military. It’s all about readiness, he says.

“We shouldn’t have to go outside this country for PPE,” he says. “It should be made here because, if another country makes it, you don’t know if it’s safe, you don’t know what kind of standards they have and you may not get it quickly.”

He encouraged members of Congress to visit textile mills with an open mind, and to not “believe everything they’ve heard” about the industry.

“They should get out and get firsthand knowledge of it before they make any decisions, and they should see how it impacts people’s lives,” he says. “If they visit my plant, their decisions won’t just be impacting the 75 people there. It’s also the people who support my plant – the people in Hillsville [Va.] who supply us yarn for twisting . It’s all of our suppliers and it’s all of our customers. And it’s the communities that these mills support.

They should look at our people’s faces. Look at the pride they have in what they do. It’s remarkable. They have pride knowing ‘I can do something. I know how to do something. I have a skill that nobody else has.’ They don’t take that lightly.”

Contact your lawmakers

Send a letter in support of American PPE production

Comments Off on Chuck Wilson, Plant Manager, Parkdale Uncategorized

Learn more

Barry Shore, Unifi Inc.

Barry Shore, Polyester Operations Manager, Unifi Inc.
In his four-plus decades, Barry has seen Unifi transform from solely a fiber producer into a diverse provider of numerous high-tech, sustainable products – from fiber made from water bottles under its signature REPREVE® brand to other recycled byproducts such as chip or flake that can be used in anything from apparel to food containers to geotextile liners in road construction projects.

“We’ve dedicated ourselves to being an innovator,” he says. “We are out here every day trying to innovate new yarns, new end uses, new combinations and new products that would give our customers an advantage for the consumer.”

Like many in this rural county in Western N.C., Barry grew up on a farm. And, like so many others in the area, he saw the local textile company, founded in 1971 in Greensboro, N.C., as a terrific opportunity to make a good living and learn a trade.

His brother and several aunts and cousins were working at Unifi when Barry was in high school and joined the company as a full-time doffer, removing packages of yarn from machines after they are processed. After graduation, he stayed with the company and, at age 19, joined its management training program. He took his first manager’s job over a department at age 25.


“Unifi has been nothing but great to me,” says Barry, whose daughter recently joined the company in human resources “I’ve had a lot of opportunities here. It’s allowed me to put my three daughters through college. I don’t know if I could have done that working anywhere else besides here. So for me and my family, it has provided tremendous opportunities.”

With more than 1,000 people working at the Yadkinville location, Unifi is the second largest employer in the county behind the school system. “We’re a close-knit family group here,” he says. “We pull (people) mostly from Yadkin County and surrounding counties, so it seems like everybody knows everybody.”

In early March, Unifi was asked to help supply critical components for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help fight the spread of COVID-19, and the company was quick to join the effort. As a crucial product in the supply chain, the company’s fibers and yarns were needed to produce [fabrics] for hospital gowns, face masks and medical supplies such as wound dressing and bandages. The company joined a coalition producing gowns for a large FEMA program when the vast shortage for frontline workers became apparent.

“We make POY fiber that we in turn convert to DTY (Drawn Textured Yarn). We sold both into the medical programs,” Barry says.

“Coordinating everything was a challenge, but it became easier once the [fibers] and materials used in the gowns] was settled,” he says. “There was a tremendous amount of trial work going on [with] the yarns [used to create] the gowns because it had to meet a certain standard. So we made several different yarn varieties before we finally hit the ones that worked for… the fabric they were trying to make for the gown.”

Similarly, Unifi’s fibers used in polyester yarns are now being used in face masks – some with antibacterial or water-repellent properties that are produced by numerous partners. And having its own trucking fleet has enabled the company to deliver product in a timely fashion. The entire effort makes him proud, Barry notes.

“It is an exciting thing to be involved in, knowing that there is a need and we can play a part in satisfying that need,” he says. “The industry’s collaboration has been amazing. It’s nice to see a whole industry pull together and say, ‘we can do this, and quickly.’ But that’s part of what the country is all about in times of need – pulling yourself together and making things happen.”

It’s nice to see a whole industry pull together and say, “we can do this, and quickly.” But that’s part of what the country is all about in times of need – pulling yourself together and making things happen.

Not that any of this effort during these unprecedented times surprises Barry. Time and again, he has seen his company and his industry show flexibility, he says.

“We have a lot of capability and capacity, driven by our customers and consumers,” he says.

Having worked in production and now as a manager, Barry says he has a good grasp on the operation, adding that his “people skills” have helped him tremendously along the way.

“I’ve always considered my forte to be people,” he says. “I was once an employee working on the floor, and that gives me a good perspective of the way they see things and how they react to things day to day.”

Barry has seen the industry change in many ways throughout his career, transitioning from a labor-intensive manufacturing sector to a modern, advanced industry that has become much more efficient, technologically driven, with a focus on sustainability.

But for some reason, he adds, the industry has not always received the credit it deserves for the value it brings to families, communities and the nation at large.

“There was a lot of livelihoods made off the textile industry, and it has provided a lot of things for families,” he says. “You always hope that manufacturing jobs, which are what the country needs, would be recognized. Even though equipment has changed and processes have changed, it still involves people. It may require a higher skillset person, but it’s still all about people.”

Barry says the COVID-19 crisis has opened a lot of eyes to the importance of manufacturing, especially textiles, in this country.

“When I look at the more than 1,000 people here and all the families who started here, I’m always going to stress that manufacturing here in the United States is important,” he says. “There is still a group of people today that is making their livelihood in the textile industry. There’s no place I’d rather be, and I think a lot of people would tell you the same thing. So we don’t want to lose our manufacturing jobs, and textiles is something that we can definitely keep here. We fight imports all the time and probably will continue to do so. But we’re trying our best to innovate and create things that people can’t just go and copy.”

Contact your lawmakers

Send a letter in support of American PPE production

Comments Off on Barry Shore, Unifi Inc. Uncategorized

Learn more

Stephen Comer, Glen Raven

Stephen Comer, Manufacturing Services Coordinator, Glen Raven Inc.

Stephen Comer, 31, joined Glen Raven when he was obtaining higher education degrees, never thinking his career would cross paths with the company at a later date. But after earning his undergraduate and master’s degrees in history, he ditched the idea of seeking a Ph.D. to return full time to a company and an industry in which he respected and saw a great future.

Glen Raven had been good to Stephen’s family and the small North Carolina community in which he grew up. His first stint at the company as a material handler in 2013 opened his eyes to the possibilities of a career at a global textile company. His aunt and uncle met at the company and have each worked there about two decades, and Stephen recalls he was often able to visit his aunt’s workplace when he was a pre-teen.

“I realized manufacturing in the U.S. wasn’t what it once was, but I knew that Glen Raven was strong and was continuing to grow,” he says. “And I knew the company had been around a long time, was a tight-knit, family-run company and a lot of families worked there. So based on that, I felt like it was a strong, employee-focused company to work for.”

Stephen returned to Glen Raven four years ago, starting as a lab analyst before moving into his current role as manufacturing services coordinator last year. He oversees new hire orientation and on-the-job training, in addition to managing a large portion of the safety program.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Glen Raven’s Burlington plant shifted its primary production focus from its highly advanced performance fabrics for upholstery, awnings, shade and marine applications to its proprietary synthetic fiber mix for its arc-flash, flame-retardant fabric. Apparel containing this fabric is worn by utility and electrical workers that keep essential businesses, including hospitals and healthcare facilities running.

[COVID-19] really shows the glaring need for textiles in the U.S. – not just for PPE, but also in general clothing and textiles. We use textiles in a number of different ways, and it’s important that we have fast access to those products.

“As seen during the COVID-19 crisis, it’s very important to have textiles here in the U.S., so that we have supply lines and end products available in critical times,” he says. “American quality is good quality. I know it might cost more to make things here in the U.S. but we need it to be available here, especially in times of need like today during the crisis. It really shows the glaring need for textiles in the U.S. – not just for PPE, but also in general clothing and textiles. We use textiles in a number of different ways, and it’s important that we have fast access to those products.”

The industry is proving its adaptability and importance during the pandemic – something it has shown time and again during our nation’s times of need.

“We have a really adaptable group that’s used to being flexible and responsive. That culture is already established, especially that safety culture, so I think it made it a fairly seamless process,” Stephen says.

Stephen notes he is honored to work in an industry that has answered our nation’s call and provides basic, high-quality essentials to its citizens.

“Many people don’t know a whole lot about textiles, but I’m proud to talk about what I do and how important it is,” he says. “Obviously, my career is a lot shorter than some, but I’ve seen how we’ve grown and pivoted and changed in just the short amount of time that I’ve been here, and seen how resilient the industry is.”

Domestic production of textiles is imperative, as the critical need for PPE supply exposed during the crisis. And Stephen says he hopes those decisionmakers who hold the industry’s future in their hands have taken notice.

“I guess [the industry] has not gotten the credit it deserves, based on the fact a lot of textiles moved out of the U.S.,” he says. “But with this crisis, having things made here has proven how important it is.”

Contact your lawmakers

Send a letter in support of American PPE Production

Comments Off on Stephen Comer, Glen Raven Uncategorized

Learn more

Basilio Medina, Glen Raven Inc.

Basilio Medina, Production Coordinator, Glen Raven Inc.

Textiles are in Basilio Medina’s blood – and he wouldn’t want it any other way. At 48, he has spent his entire 26-year career in the U.S. textile industry.

As a production coordinator at global fabric maker Glen Raven, Inc., based in the central North Carolina town of the same name, Basilio is responsible for cleaning and prepping equipment for color changes as high-tech yarn is processed into advanced fabric.

Looking for better opportunities, Basilio came to the U.S. from El Salvador in the 1990s and landed at Dixie Yarns in N.C., where he worked as a machine operator and technician, working there two years before that plant closed. After quickly learning and becoming efficient in advanced technologies, the shuttering company recommended he apply for a job at nearby Glen Raven, where he’s worked ever since. He served as a section leader for 15 years before being promoted to his current position.

Textiles are now in his family’s blood, too. His brother, son three sisters-in-law and a brother-in-law all work for Glen Raven.

“Working here and in textiles has been a good experience, all these 26 years,” he says. “It’s like a family. They care about their employees and they have good benefits. There are people who have worked here for over 40 years. So I think this is a very important business for the U.S. and for, especially people like me and my family.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the shortage of critical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers and others on the frontlines, many in the U.S. textile industry stepped up to alter operations to produce these essential goods. While others, like Basilio and his team, began producing inputs used to create protective gear.

Yarn produced at Glen Raven’s Burlington plant, for example, is sent to a nearby plant and woven into a highly technical fabric called GlenGuard®, an arc-flash, flame-retardant, lightweight fabric that protect utility and electrical workers who keep essential businesses, including hospitals and healthcare systems, running.

During the crisis, Basilio and his group were called back to work after a one-day furlough was instituted as businesses nationwide were closing. They were asked to ramp up the amount of Glen Raven’s proprietary synthetic fiber mix to boost production of the company’s GlenGuard® product. Practically overnight, the plant shifted its focus from making its signature Sunbrella® line of solution-dyed acrylic yarns used in indoor/outdoor fabrics, to creating blends needed for protective apparel fabric.

“When COVID-19 shut down the textile plant, the company quickly realized that our GlenGuard product would open a big opportunity for us to keep running and help our country,” Basilio says.

I think it’s important to make products here because it gives Americans jobs and helps take care of and feed families.

The pandemic certainly proved the importance of the textile industry to the health, well-being and safety of U.S. citizens. But its value is apparent in many other ways, including supporting American families and communities.

“I think it’s important to make products here because it gives Americans jobs and helps take care of and feed families,” Basilio says. “Textiles is a very important business for families that maybe didn’t go to college. I would rather work in textiles than work in construction or anywhere else. I’m happy doing what I do every day for all these years.”

Basilio says he can’t see himself doing anything but textiles for the rest of his career, so he stressed that lawmakers should consider the livelihoods of thousands of Americans whenever legislation comes up that involves the industry.

“To keep jobs here, especially in textiles, is very important,” he says. “If these companies disappear, where are we going to find a job? I think they [lawmakers] need to carry the load and make sure these jobs are not shipped overseas. I think they can work it out to even bring some jobs back here, and I think we will be in a better position in the future.”

Contact your lawmakers

Send a letter in support of American PPE production

Comments Off on Basilio Medina, Glen Raven Inc. Uncategorized

Learn more

Rhina Quintanilla, Shawmut Corp.

Rhina Quintanilla, Vision Technician, Shawmut Corp.

Rhina Quintanilla, 40, has been working in the U.S. textile industry for half of her life.

Over the past 20 years she has worked her way up the ladder to her current position as a Vision Technician at Shawmut Corp. In the quality control department, Rhina uses Shelton automated inspection technology to photograph fabric on the production line to assess its quality.

A mother of two and an immigrant from El Salvador, Rhina has weathered many ups and downs in her life, but the jobs she has held in textile factories over those years have given her not only a means to make a living but also new skills and training on advanced technologies that help the industry innovate and compete in a global world.

Rhina, along with tens of thousands of textile workers, has helped drive the U.S. industry through one of its darkest chapters in history—the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have a sister that works in the hospital, and she tells me about how they didn’t have a lot of protective equipment; but now it’s coming in, and they’re glad that’s being produced and given to them. She’s a phlebotomist here in Burlington [N.C.]. So to me, it’s personal,” Rhina says.

She has been confronted with many challenges during the health crisis, including a weeklong furlough, before being called back in to ramp up production on fabrics for medical gowns.

“Personally, we had to change our mindset and the way we were used to doing things to accommodate in a [fast] pace producing new products,” she says.

Shawmut traditionally produces headliner composites, technical textiles and lamination, including in the automotive division of Shawmut where Rhina works.

Being part of a larger effort by the industry to retool production lines and pivot to PPE production to address the severe shortage of critical PPE items like gowns, face masks, and isolation curtains has been rewarding for Rhina.

“We were given a lot of good tools and already had some ourselves to make that product work as good as it’s working now. And it means that the people who need it are getting it and having it when they need it,” she says.

The textile industry runs through Rhina’s family and through her own personal story with her husband.

“I did not go to school for textiles; but because those were the jobs that were available as I was reaching the age of adulthood, that’s what was around, textiles. And I just feel like I’ve been blessed to have been given the opportunity with Shawmut to grow and learn a lot more about textiles, different types of fabrics.” Rhina adds.

Her father worked at Copland Fabrics, also based in Burlington, North Carolina, for 15 years, and Rhina says she met her husband, Juan, in Burlington as well.

Juan, who moved to North Carolina from El Salvador 13 years ago, also has roots in the U.S. textile industry, first working for Cortina Fabrics and now working at the same company—Shawmut—as Rhina.

If [we] produce material here, that’s helping people all across the United States. If there’s more places that would do this, they could, in cases like this pandemic, have faster access to the materials that they need.

Rhina sees her role in making PPE and automotive products in America in this way:

“I feel that if [we] produce material here, that’s helping people all across the United States. If there’s more places that would do this, they could, in cases like this pandemic, have faster access to the materials that they need.”

Domestic production is important because it provides “security, knowing that we’re doing something good for many people. It’s very family-like here. They always let us know what’s going on and it feels very family oriented,” she says.

As lawmakers on Capitol Hill introduce bills to expand domestic PPE production; reduce our country’s overreliance on foreign-made goods, particularly from China; and solidify production in the U.S., it is people like Rhina Quintanilla who are working every day to make medical-related textiles to help frontline workers.

Rhina says she has learned that textiles is a “difficult business that can disappear quickly.”

“And from seeing other places, jobs can just kind of vanish or be sent overseas,” she adds.

That is why it is important to her during the pandemic in particular to show members of Congress and the public how flexible, efficient and important the industry is to not only PPE production but a whole host of other critical textiles, including the automotive business.

She also says domestic production of PPE is critical to keep the supply chain prepared for the future.

“We live in a big country where a lot of this stuff is needed and used, and to have it produced here is much needed,” she says.

Her message to Capitol Hill is simple and direct:

“What we do here right now is being produced here, and I feel it’s important because like I said, for the gown business, we have it, it’s ready and it’s accessible faster than having to wait for it to get here.”

Contact your lawmakers

Send a letter in support of American PPE production

Comments Off on Rhina Quintanilla, Shawmut Corp. Uncategorized

Learn more

Khurm Hussain, Unifi Inc.

Khurm Hussain, Director of Flake, Resin & Staple Fiber, Unifi, Inc.

Khurm Hussain, 41, is a second-generation textile worker and immigrant from Pakistan. He earned his Textile Engineering degree from Thomas Jefferson University and has worked with Greensboro, NC-based Unifi, Inc. for the past 20 years.

He began his career at Unifi as a management trainee— moving from plant to plant, department to department, learning technical processes like spinning, texturizing, loading, creeling, putting up ends and solution-dyeing color development. At the same time, he increased his knowledge of design and product development working at various Unifi facilities throughout North Carolina and abroad.

In 2010, Khurm was assigned to Unifi’s REPREVE® Recycling Center, through which the company developed and collaborated with other organizations for the production of REPREVE® recycled materials made from post-consumer bottle and pre-consumer waste.

In the years since, Khurm has become an important ambassador for the REPREVE® brand, which he believes offers value-added product differentiated from low-cost alternatives produced by foreign competitors.

Committed to advancing sustainability and innovation in the domestic textile industry, Khurm says: “[REPREVE is] based on sustainability. We have a razor-sharp focus. We can add additional technologies on a sustainable platform and have REPREVE PLUS in our product portfolio.

Unifi’s REPREVE® brand, launched in 2007, has transformed more than 20 billion plastic bottles into recycled fiber for apparel, shoes, home-textiles and recycled rPET for nonwoven, consumer packaging goods, thermoform containers for many of the leading brands.

Outside of the mill, Khurm is a family man who strives to give back to his community. He and his wife of 16 years have three kids—two daughters, eleven and seven years old, and a son, five. Unlike Khurm, who was born in Northern Ireland, each of his children were born in Winston-Salem, where he’s proud to have established his family.

He attributes the supportive, close-knit culture at Unifi as a source of support in making his home in the U.S.: “In my 20 years, I think I’ve been fortunate that Unifi challenged me and gave me new opportunities to explore. I feel like it’s a part of my extended family. They’re always there to help you. They helped with accommodation, logistics and even applied for my American citizenship. They want you to stick around for a long time and we are doing the same for the younger talented folks that are coming into the profession.”

Khurm’s wife was also part of the industry. She left Pakistan for the U.S. when they got married and she earned an accounting degree from Salem College. Shortly after she worked for Hanesbrands until the Sara Lee spin off. Together, Khurm and his wife are dedicated to raising their kids and bettering their neighborhood community: “We’ve made good friends outside of work. I spend more time at Unifi, but [in] the community at large I’ve tried to get involved as much as I can.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has spawned new sustainability initiatives in the form of reusable PPE, such as gowns, wipes and facemasks. For Khurm, such opportunities provide a sense of optimism and innovation to his work. “We are innovative … and getting more innovative … With mask breathability, we’re applying cross-sectional technology, so it channels some of the moisture away and provides adequate airflow. And then you can wash it, reuse it, over and over again… Now, everywhere you go, every airplane, every ball game, you’re going to be using a mask to reduce the spread of the virus. The question is, do you want to use a single use mask that you’re going to throw away, or do you want a reusable product? No matter which mask you choose, why could it not be made out of sustainable materials?”

We hear from brands who want to switch their supply chain. We have the automation, innovation and the people to compete and provide something better for the consumer.

A focus on sustainability carries additional benefits, like social responsibility and a stronger supply chain with regional trading partners. However, to realize some of these benefits, Khurm knows there’s still work to be done. In regard to reshoring production and developing critical supply chains, Khurm states, “I think when we come together as an industry to make gowns or masks or any other protective wear, we have enough capacity in the region. We hear from brands who want to switch their supply chain. We have the automation, innovation and the people to compete and provide something better for the consumer.”

A focus on sustainability carries additional benefits, like social responsibility and a stronger supply chain with regional trading partners. However, to realize some of these benefits, Khurm knows there’s still work to be done. In regard to reshoring production and developing critical supply chains, Khurm states, “I think when we come together as an industry to make gowns or masks or any other protective wear, we have enough capacity in the region. We hear from brands who want to switch their supply chain. We have the automation, innovation and the people to compete and provide something better for the consumer.”

To that end, Khurm sees the U.S. textile industry’s shift to PPE production as a prime opportunity for achieving these goals, “I think with coming together on the PPE, they are recognizing some of what we can do… I would love for them to enforce that all PPE should be made in the region, so in the case that we have anymore outbreaks, we are equipped… We need [more support] to have more stabilization in the region. The brands would love to come back to this region. If Capitol Hill would look into it, then there’ll be more capital invested in the region.”

Khurm’s passion for his work is also a source of personal fulfilment that has allowed him to develop deep interpersonal connections and take part in something larger than himself: “I’m a second-generation textile guy. My dad has been in the textile industry for the last 40 years. I saw he has a comfortable life. And I was like, I want to follow that path. I learned a lot from my dad. Now, we can talk the same—denier, filament, barre. Now we’re talking about PPE.”

“This pandemic is an eye opener on many levels. We just don’t need to be working competitively. Let’s work together and provide something that’s a win-win situation for the industry—made in the USA and protect lives.”

To that end, Khurm sees the U.S. textile industry’s shift to PPE production as a prime opportunity for achieving these goals, “I think with coming together on the PPE, they are recognizing some of what we can do… I would love for them to enforce that all PPE should be made in the region, so in the case that we have anymore outbreaks, we are equipped … We need [more support] to have more stabilization in the region. The brands would love to come back to this region. If Capitol Hill would look into it, then there’ll be more capital invested in the region.”

Khurm’s passion for his work is also a source of personal fulfilment that has allowed him to develop deep interpersonal connections and take part in something larger than himself: “I’m a second-generation textile guy. My dad has been in the textile industry for the last 40 years. I saw he has a comfortable life. And I was like, I want to follow that path. I learned a lot from my dad. Now, we can talk the same—denier, filament, barre. Now we’re talking about PPE.”

“This pandemic is an eye opener on many levels. We just don’t need to be working competitively. Let’s work together and provide something that’s a win-win situation for the industry—made in the USA and protecting lives.”

Contact your lawmakers

Send a letter in support of American PPE production

Comments Off on Khurm Hussain, Unifi Inc. Uncategorized

Learn more

NCTO CONGRATULATES WILLIAM “BILL” McCRARY ON 50TH ANNIVERSARY AT WILLIAM BARNET & SON, LLC

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) is honored to congratulate Mr. William “Bill” V. McCrary Jr. on a significant tenure – celebrating 50 years of employment in the U.S. textile industry with William Barnet & Son, LLC, a synthetic fiber/yarn/polymer firm headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C. with plants and/or offices in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Bill McCrary joined William Barnet & Son, LLC on July 1, 1970. He now serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for the company, a position he has held since 2001.

“Bill McCrary is an outstanding leader in the textile industry – but, even more importantly, a wonderful human being.  Bill’s deep commitment to his company, employees and the entire community is a model for us all.  His strong voice advocating for manufacturing has benefited the entire industry and we are so very grateful for his outstanding service,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas.

Throughout his career at Barnet, McCrary has also demonstrated strong leadership on behalf of the broader U.S. textile industry by serving as NCTO chairman from 2017-18, after having served as NCTO vice chairman the prior year. He also served for three years on NCTO’s Board of Directors before moving into his current role as an officer.

Former NCTO President and CEO Auggie Tantillo, who headed the organization during Mr. McCrary’s leadership, said the following: “Bill McCrary seamlessly stepped into the role of NCTO chairman and national leader of the U.S. textile industry. The power of his intellect and the persuasiveness of his personality were an invaluable asset to our industry and workforce on numerous policy matters. The entire U.S. textile sector owes him a great debt of gratitude for his effectiveness, professionalism and dedication to our industry.”

Mr. McCrary’s career includes leadership positions with various other industry associations, such as Chairman of the American Fiber Manufacturers Association and Chairman of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance. He is the 2016 recipient of the Roger Milliken Defender of Manufacturing Award, a member of the Palmetto Business Forum, and a graduate of Duke University. McCrary is a dedicated resident of Greenville, SC, where he has dedicated his time to numerous initiatives developed for the benefit of the community, including the institution of the McCrary Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit within the Greenville Hospital System and the Phase II expansion of Cancer Survivors Park. 

NCTO congratulates and thanks William “Bill” McCrary on a long and productive career that has benefited not only his organization and community, but the U.S. textile industry on the whole.

###

NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 585,240 in 2019.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $75.8 billion in 2019.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $29.1 billion in 2019.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.5 billion in 2018, the last year for which data is available.

DOWNLOAD RELEASE

CONTACT: Rebecca Tantillo

202.822.8026

www.ncto.org

Comments (0) Press Releases, Recent News

Learn more

NCTO & Member Companies Testify at U.S. International Trade Commission Hearing on Proposed 301 Tariff List

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) and several of its member companies are set to testify at the U.S. Trade Representative’s nearly two-week long hearing on the proposed Section 301 tariff list as part of the administration’s ongoing review and consideration of the Tranche 4 of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports from China.

Daniel Nation, Director of Government Relations for Parkdale Mills, a member of NCTO, will kick ff the U.S. textile industry’s testimony on the first day of the hearing.

China’s rampant abuse of intellectual property rights and intellectual property theft has spanned decades at the direct expense of the U.S. textile industry and its supply chain, largely contributing to the U.S. trade deficit with China in textile and apparel products—totaling $46.5 billion in 2018—and the loss of 1 million manufacturing jobs in this critical sector.

“There is little doubt that China’s extreme position in the global textile and apparel marketplace has been advanced by an elaborate system of illegal practices, that include state sponsored subsidies, unethical labor and environmental practices and theft of intellectual property,” Nation said in prepared remarks for today’s USTR hearing. “Consequently, Parkdale supports the existing Section 301 case against China.”

However, Nation stressed the effectiveness of the administration’s case has been “greatly diminished through the omission” of finished textile and apparel products from the various retaliatory tariff lists.

“Including finished textile and apparel products on the 301 retaliation list would greatly enhance the administration’s leverage in the ongoing negotiations and help redirect trade in this sector to the Western Hemisphere,” Nation said. The Western Hemisphere is a top export market for the U.S. textile industry, representing $15.7 million in textile and apparel exports.

“NCTO is pleased the proposed Tranche 4 includes finished imported items from China, which have the most significant impact on U.S. employment, production and investment,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas, who is scheduled to testify at the hearing on June 20. “We believe this move will lead to the re-shoring of production to the United States and the Western Hemisphere production platform.  It’s critical we address and mitigate China’s rampant trade distortions.”

“While NCTO members support the inclusion of finished products in Tranche 4, we are seriously concerned that certain inputs already vetted by the administration and removed from previous retaliatory tariff lists are back on this list for proposed duties,” Glas noted. “Adding tariffs on imports of manufacturing inputs that are not made in the U.S. such as certain chemicals, dyes, machinery and rayon staple fiber in effect raises the cost for American companies and makes them less competitive with China.  We firmly believe the integrity of the earlier exclusion process should be upheld.”

“We also urge the U.S. government to institute a fair, transparent and expeditious exclusion system for all retaliation tranches,” Glas added.

“Lastly, we want to flag that the administration’s 301 efforts are being undermined by shipments under the $800 Section 321 de minimis threshold, which are not subject to the retaliatory tariffs – or any tariffs.  Section 321 is a substantial and growing loophole that gives China backdoor duty-free access to the U.S. market at a time when the administration is spearheading efforts to address China’s unfair trade practices,” Glas said.  “This should be rectified both in the 301 and broader context.”

NCTO and its member companies are strongly encouraging the USTR’s office and President Trump to adopt the following recommendations:

  • enact the proposed 25% penalty tariffs on finished apparel items and other sewn products;
  • maintain the previous product input exemptions that were vetted by the U.S. government and granted and excluded from previous tranches;
  • institute a transparent, fair and expeditious exclusion system for all tranches;
  • and apply 301 retaliatory tariffs to Section 321 de minimis shipments.

NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers. 

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 594,147 in 2018. 
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $76.8 billion in 2018. 
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $30.1 billion in 2018. 
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.0 billion in 2017, the last year for which data is available.

# # #

DOWNLOAD HERE

CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091

www.ncto.org

Comments (0) Press Releases, Recent News, Testimony and Statements, Uncategorized

Learn more

NCTO Raises Serious Concerns over the Administration’s Plan to Impose Tariffs on Mexico

WASHINGTON, DC – Kim Glas, President & CEO of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), issued the following statement today in response to the administration’s decision under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to assess penalty duties on Mexico as an attempt to address the growing immigration dispute on the U.S. southern border.  The proposed 5% increase would begin on June 10 and incrementally increase to 25%, if the dispute is not resolved.

The magnitude of the trading relationship with Mexico is significant for the U.S. textile industry, representing $12.2 billion in two-way textile and apparel trade in 2018. The U.S. textile industry alone exported $4.7 billion in yarn and fabrics to Mexico last year and had a net export surplus of $3.8 billion.

As a result, Mexico is the single largest market for U.S.-made textile exports.

“We are very concerned about the impact these proposed tariffs would have on a critical and integrated supply chain for the U.S. and Mexico textile and apparel industries. Under the NAFTA agreement, the U.S. has benefited as a result of strong rules of origin that require the use of regional yarns and fabrics. As a result, the U.S. industry has made significant investment—$22.8 billion from 2006 to 2017—to help grow the manufacturing of fiber, yarns, and fabrics in the United States. NCTO supports the passage of the pending U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) because it is a critical trade agreement that will strengthen the industry’s supply chain representing approximately $20 billion in three-way trade,” Glas said.

“Adding tariffs to Mexican apparel imports, which largely contain U.S. textile inputs, would significantly disrupt this industry and jeopardize jobs on both sides of the border,” Glas said. “And as a result, it will accelerate substantially the immigration issues the administration is seeking to address.”

“In addition, this tariff increase would give a significant competitive advantage to China, which already accounts for about 38% of apparel and textile imports to the U.S.” Glas added. “In fact, if this increase goes forward it will drive business back to China at a time when the administration is trying to crack down on intellectual property abuses and make systemic trade reforms that have undermined U.S. manufacturing industries for decades. This proposal is extremely concerning to U.S. textile manufacturers and we will do all we can to amplify these concerns with the administration and members of Congress.”

Mexico and Canada together are the U.S. textile industry’s two largest export markets worldwide. In 2018, the U.S. ran a combined $3.8 billion surplus in textiles and apparel with those two North American Free Trade Agreement trading partners.

NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers. 

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 594,147 in 2018. 
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $76.8 billion in 2018. 
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $30.1 billion in 2018. 
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.0 billion in 2017, the last year for which data is available.

# # #

Download Release

CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091

www.ncto.org

Comments (0) Press Releases, Recent News, Uncategorized

Learn more

NCTO Comments on 301 Tariff Increase; Renews Call for Tariffs on Textile and Apparel End Items and Need for...

May 8, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) appreciates the Trump administration’s action to crack down on unfair trade practices from China through the Section 301 mechanism.  

A Federal Register notice, set to be published on Thursday, states the administration’s intent to raise tariffs on $200 billion of imported Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent on May 10. NCTO urges the administration to ensure an expeditious and transparent exclusion process and the inclusion of finished apparel and textile end products to this remedy.

“It’s long past time we address China’s unfair trade practices, particularly relating to intellectual property abuses,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas.

“However, we remain very concerned that finished Chinese textile home furnishings and apparel are not on the administration’s retaliatory tariff list,” Glas said. “Chinese imports of finished goods into the U.S. market have the most significant impact on domestic textile and apparel production, investment and jobs. In order to address the crisis, we need to get to the very heart of the problem.”

According to U.S. government data, China predominantly ships end items to the U.S. versus intermediate inputs. Finished apparel, textile home furnishings and other made-up textile goods equate to 93.5 percent of U.S. imports from China in our sector, while fiber, yarn, and fabric imports from China represent only 6.5 percent.  

“NCTO also remains seriously concerned that some inputs critical to the competitiveness of U.S. textile manufacturers remain on the retaliation list and will now face a 25 percent tariff. Duty increases on inputs alone, without addressing the growing problem of end products can raise the cost of U.S. textile manufacturers trying to compete with like Chinese products,” Glas said. “We are pleased that the administration intends to announce an exclusion process and we urge that the process be fair, transparent, and expeditious.”

For more on this issue, see: NCTO Testimony to the Section 301 Committee on August 20, 2018

NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers. 

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 594,147 in 2018. 
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $76.8 billion in 2018. 
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $30.1 billion in 2018. 
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.0 billion in 2017, the last year for which data is available.

# # #

DOWNLOAD RELEASE

CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091

www.ncto.org

Comments (0) Press Releases, Recent News, Uncategorized

Learn more