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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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NCTO President & CEO Kim Glas Testifies at House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Hearing on COVID-19 Crisis

WASHINGTON, DC – National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas is testifying today at the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee hearing on “Manufacturing and Critical Supply Chains: Lessons From COVID-19.”

“While domestic textile manufacturers have undertaken heroic efforts to confront the ongoing crisis, the onshoring of a permanent PPE industry will only materialize if proper government policies and other actions are put in place to help domestic manufacturers survive the current economic crisis and to incentivize the long-term investment needed to fully bring PPE production back to the United States,” Glas said in testimony submitted to the subcommittee found here.

Glas outlined policy recommendations and concrete steps the government should take to address the long-term and short-term needs of frontline health care workers, patients and the general public.

“The time is ripe for a revival of American PPE textile manufacturing. It has already begun, but we are at a pivotal point. Without the necessary policy response and support, our recent progress will be undone just as quickly, and the China stranglehold over global medical textile supply will be locked in for the foreseeable future with no reason to invest here,” Glas said.

“The U.S. textile and apparel industry is ready, willing, and able to supply our country’s PPE needs now and for what lies ahead,” she added.

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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.

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CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

202.684.3091

www.ncto.org

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INDUSTRY COALITION RELEASES STATEMENT ON PPE POLICY

WASHINGTON—An industry coalition representing the full spectrum of domestic personal protective equipment (PPE) production released a statement today outlining policy principles and objectives needed for reshoring and safeguarding domestic PPE manufacturing.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which exposed severe shortages in our nation’s PPE supply and an overreliance on foreign sourced products, underscores how important it is for the U.S. government to incentivize, support and maintain domestic manufacturing capacity for PPE.

Our association members, encompassing every segment of the U.S. textile, apparel and PPE supply chain, as well as unions representing workers, acted swiftly to convert manufacturing facilities and build supply chains virtually overnight to produce desperately needed PPE.

“We are united in our support of important principles that must be adopted in order to address our current public health needs and guarantee our nation is better prepared to respond to future emergencies,” the 21 associations said in the joint statement.

The associations are calling on Congress and the Trump administration to adopt principles outlined in the statement through legislation, executive order and other appropriate means.

See the full joint statement and principles here.

The statement was signed by the following organizations. Please see relevant contacts where provided:

  • AFL-CIO
  • Alliance for American Manufacturing
  • American Iron and Steel Institute
  • American Sheep Institute
  • Coalition for a Prosperous America
  • Georgia Association of Manufacturers
  • Hand Tools Institute
  • INDA: Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry
  • Narrow Fabrics Institute
  • National Cotton Council
  • National Council of Textile Organizations
  • Parachute Industry Association
  • Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network
  • SEAMS: Association of the U.S. Sewn Products Industry
  • SEIU
  • South Carolina Textile Council
  • U.S. Industrial Fabrics Institute
  • United States Footwear Manufacturers Association
  • United Steelworkers
  • Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition
  • Workers United/SEIU

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MAIN PRESS CONTACT:

NCTO

Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091

www.ncto.org

Coalition for a Prosperous America

Melissa Tallman, (202) 688-5145 ext. 3

National Cotton Council

Marjory L. Walker, (901) 274-9030

Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network

Michael M. Woody, (401) 331-8483

SEAMS: Association of the U.S. Sewn Products Industry

Will Duncan, (803) 642-1111

Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition

David Costello, (617) 875-2492

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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.

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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.

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CONTACT: Rebecca Tantillo

202.822.8026

www.ncto.org

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NCTO Announces Winner of the 2020 Paul T. O’Day Memorial Scholarship

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Council of Textile Organization’s (NCTO) Fiber Council announces Lauren Biggs of Charlotte, NC as the recipient of the 2020 Paul T. O’Day Scholarship Award.  She is the daughter of Sheila Price and Alexander Graham Biggs, III, who is employed by Unifi, Inc.

Ms. Biggs graduated in June with high honors from Myers Park High School.  She will attend the University of South Carolina entering the program for Computer Science this fall.  She is grateful to the NCTO Paul T. O’Day Scholarship Committee for choosing her as this year’s scholarship recipient stating, “Your generosity is truly humbling and greatly appreciated. Being awarded the Paul T. O’Day Scholarship will make a huge difference in my finances while I work to achieve my goal of becoming a creative problem solver, leader and innovator in the fiber industry just as Mr. O’Day was for so many years.  Thank you again for this honor.  I hope to one day give back to those who gave so much.”

NCTO Fiber Council Chairman David Poston, President of Palmetto Synthetics LLC, commented, “We are pleased to recognize Ms. Biggs’s record of achievements and passion for learning as we name her the 2020 recipient of our Paul T. O’Day Memorial Scholarship.  On behalf of the Fiber Council, we congratulate Ms. Biggs and wish her continued success in her academic career.”

The scholarship program was created in 2014 in honor of Paul T. O’Day who served as President of the American Fiber Manufacturers Association (AFMA) for more than three decades. The Association merged with the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) in April 2018, and NCTO’s Fiber Council now administers the scholarship program.  Recipients receive a $5,000 award each year, totaling $20,000 for four years of study.  Sons or daughters of NCTO’s Fiber Council member company employees are eligible to apply.

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.

# # #

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www.ncto.org


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NCTO Elects South Carolina Yarn Manufacturing CEO as Chairman – Council Chairs & Board Members Elected

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished sewn products, held its officer elections for fiscal year 2020 today.

In addition to the appointment of a new chairman and vice chairman, NCTO elected chairs for each of its four councils. NCTO is comprised of four councils to ensure a broad representation of the industry supply chain. Each council has an allotted number of members who are elected to the association’s Board of Directors, in addition to the Executive Committee.

“I am pleased to announce our new officers, council chairs, and board and executive committee members for NCTO’s 2020 fiscal year,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “David Roberts (CEO of Cap Yarns) has been elected our new chairman and succeeds Leib Oehmig (CEO of Glen Raven Inc.), who did an outstanding job serving in the role for more than a year.”

“This is a critical juncture for our industry as we continue to navigate through an uncertain business environment this year. I could not be prouder of our industry, which has stepped up and retooled to produce critical personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic. With the support of our newly elected officers, NCTO will continue to work on behalf of its members to shape policies that will help our industry persevere and thrive. Through a dedicated association staff and a committed group of industry leaders, we will ensure that together we continue to have a seat at the table in Washington.”

Elected as NCTO Chairman and Vice Chairman for 2020 are:

  • Chairman – David Roberts, CEO of Cap Yarns, Inc.
    • Mr. Roberts is CEO of Cap Yarns, Inc., based in Clover, South Carolina.  Cap Yarns is a specialty yarn manufacturer and a leader in developing unique yarns for the knitting and weaving industry.
  • Vice Chairman – David Poston, President of Palmetto Synthetics LLC
    • Mr. Poston is President of Palmetto Synthetics, based in Kingstree, South Carolina. Palmetto Synthetics is a leading specialty synthetic fiber producer that has provided specialty thermoplastic fibers to companies across the globe.

Elected to the NCTO Board of Directors during the various Council meetings were the following:

Fiber Council – Lowell Bivens of PHP Fibers; John Freeman of Nan Ya Plastics America; Chuck Hall of William Barnet & Son; Rich Lemerise of The LYCRA Company; Alejandro Sanchez of DAK Americas; and Chip Stein of Stein Fibers

Yarn Council – Jim Booterbaugh of National Spinning Co.; Tom Caudle of Unifi; Charles Heilig of Parkdale Mills; Peter Iliopoulos of Gildan; Marty Moran of Buhler Quality Yarns Corporation; and Allen Smith of American & Efird

Fabric and Home Furnishings Council – Norman Chapman of Inman Mills; Kathie Leonard of Auburn Manufacturing; Chad McAllister of Milliken & Company; Leib Oehmig of Glen Raven, Inc.; Dirk Pieper of Sage Automotive Interiors; and Mike Shelton of Valdese Weavers

Industry Support Council – Cyril Guerin of Picanol; Ian Mills of Fi-Tech; and Gary Romanstine of Marzoli

Elected by their respective Councils to serve on the Executive Committee were:

Lowell Bivens of PHP Fibers; John Freeman of Nan Ya; Tom Caudle of Unifi; Peter Iliopoulos of Gildan; Norman Chapman of Inman Mills; Leib Oehmig of Glen Raven Inc.; and Ian Mills of Fi-Tech

Elected to chair the Councils:

Fiber Council: David Poston of Palmetto Synthetics

Yarn Council: Marty Moran of Buhler Quality Yarns Corporation 

Fabric and Home Furnishings Council: Leib Oehmig of Glen Raven, Inc.

Industry Support Council: Ian Mills of Fi-Tech

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.

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CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091

www.ncto.org

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NCTO Urges Government to Institute Buy American Policy to Boost Manufacturing of Personal Protective Equipment

WASHINGTON, DC– National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement today, urging the government to institute Buy American policy changes to help bolster U.S. manufacturers producing personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If the government is sincere about reconstituting a U.S. production chain for medical personal protective equipment (PPE) to resolve the drastic shortages we are experiencing during the current pandemic, it is going to have to make key policy changes to help incentivize domestic production. A strong Buy American mandate for these vital healthcare materials needs to be instituted for all federal agencies, coupled with other reasonable production incentives, to help ensure a strong U.S.  manufacturing base for these essential products.

Our government already has an existing example of such a mandate that serves as an excellent model. The U.S. Department of Defense operates under a fiber-to-finished product Buy American rule for military textiles. This rule ensures that the vital textile materials our U.S. warfighters depend upon, come from a secure domestic production chain that cannot be severed during a military emergency by offshore entities.

There is a bipartisan call for action as members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have begun to acknowledge the need for these types of reasonable and essential policy changes.

Expanding domestic purchase requirements through Executive Order and other legislative initiatives will ensure that PPE production through U.S. supply chains that have been created overnight don’t evaporate as soon as this crisis is over.

In the midst of the crisis, our failure to confront this challenge will allow for a repeat of the sins of the past that allowed sourcing agents to offshore the entire production of medical PPE in search of lucrative profits. While chasing the lowest cost import may have seemed cost effective at the time, these past few months have demonstrated that we paid a deadly price through this approach by jeopardizing the very lives of frontline medical personnel that are fighting the pandemic.  

This is a national security issue. It’s also a vital healthcare issue and it is decision time for U.S. policymakers. If our country is to be prepared for future deadly pandemics such as the one it is now facing, reasonable policy changes need to be implemented to ensure that we strengthen our domestic supply chain to address America’s security, safety and healthcare requirements.

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.

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CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091

www.ncto.org

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NCTO, Textile Executives Back July 1 Implementation of USMCA

WASHINGTON, DC– The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber though finished sewn products, issued a statement today with textile executives stressing the critical importance of moving ahead with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and lauding U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for setting July 1 as the implementation date now that the U.S. has taken the necessary final procedural steps.

“We commend Ambassador Lighthizer for moving forward with USMCA, a critical trade deal that will greatly benefit the U.S. textile industry at a time when domestic producers–facing significant challenges due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic–have mobilized to convert their production lines to manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers during this crisis,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas.

“Sustaining the $20 billion in apparel and textile trilateral trade between the U.S., Mexico and Canada is absolutely critical at this time. USMCA, which makes several key improvements over the former North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will go a long way to increasing the textile industry’s exports, as well as investments and capacity in the U.S. We need to maintain and expand a Western Hemisphere supply chain to meet national emergencies head on in the future,” Glas added.

Mexico and Canada are the two largest export markets for the U.S. textile and apparel industry, totaling nearly $11.3 billion in 2019.

“I think USMCA is vitally important. It provides this hemisphere with production capabilities to counter Asia and other developing areas,” said Jay Self, president and CEO of Greenwood Mills. “The improved trade agreement offers speed to market and that is such a critical factor not only for our traditional fabric business, but also for our production of face masks and gowns for frontline workers battling the coronavirus. Anything we do to make this hemisphere more competitive is to our advantage.”

Greenwood Mills, a family-owned textile company in Greenwood, S.C., has converted its denim jeans production at a factory in Mexico to PPE production of non-medical face masks and hospital gowns.

“USMCA creates more certainty in the Western Hemisphere and allows us to have a vision of how to continue to build the domestic textile platform and supply chain, while giving us the confidence to re-invest,” said Cameron Hamrick, president of Hamrick Mills. “This trade agreement makes several improvements, and our hope is it will spur more investment in the Western Hemisphere. Now is the time more than ever to have a strong regional supply chain in the Western Hemisphere.”

Hamrick Mills is a 119-year-old company based in Gaffney, S.C. and producer of greige woven fabrics in both polyester/cotton blends as well as 100% cotton. The company has also pivoted to PPE production to help frontline workers.

 “Localized cooperation up and down the supply chain is of paramount importance to securing our economy in a predictable manner and as a model for increased investment for all stakeholders,” said James W. McKinnon, CEO of Cotswold Industries, Inc. “The implementation of USMCA is critical to the continued health and growth of the U.S. textile industry and our regional manufacturing partners. It’s times like this that highlight the importance of a robust regional manufacturing base in the Western Hemisphere.”

Cotswold Industries is a vertically-integrated textile engineering and marketing company that manufactures and distributes technical barriers, knitted and woven industrial fabrics and non-woven substrates, many of which the company has utilized for the production of PPE products.

NCTO worked with the administration during negotiations on USMCA and successfully lobbied for several provisions and improvements that were subsequently incorporated in the trade deal that will close loopholes and strengthen U.S. Customs enforcement.

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.

###

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CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091

www.ncto.org

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