Gildan, based in Montreal, Canada, has over 33,000 employees worldwide. They are a leading supplier of quality branded basic family apparel, including T-shirts, fleece, sport shirts, socks and underwear. Gildan Activewear sells its products under a diversified portfolio of Company-owned brands, including the Gildan®, Gold Toe® and Anvil® brands and brand extensions, as well as under license agreements for the Under Armour® and New Balance® brands.
The Company is also one of the largest suppliers of branded athletic, casual and 2 dress socks for a broad spectrum of retailers in the U.S.
On September 23, 2013, the Wall Street Journal published a brief statement about Gildan Activewear’s plans to build manufacturing plants in the Southeastern United States. Meanwhile, the Davie County Economic Development Commission has been working on “Project East” since the spring of this year.
The plans, if approved, would also mean an expansion in Rowan County with an investment of $130 million to create 184 jobs there.
According to a report in the Business Journal, Terry Bralley, President of the Davie County Economic Development Commission, expects the company to finalize the decision within the next 30 days and get started on construction as soon as possible.
Furniture and Textile Jobs Coming Back to USA and Davie County
This project is not yet a done deal. Davie and Rowan counties are competing with several other sites in North and South Carolina. Commissioners in both Davie County and Rowan County will be meeting tonight to consider economic development incentives to bring these investments and new manufacturing jobs to our communities.
According to a report in the Winston Salem Journal, Michael Walden, an economics professor at N.C. State University, said Gildan’s decision to invest in the U.S. is “very encouraging and significant.”
“Due to rising wages of foreign workers and concerns about quality control, the cost advantage of Asian textile factories over U.S. factories has narrowed considerably in the last five years,” Walden said. “This move is an example of a revaluation of the benefits of a foreign location — with the conclusion being that those benefits are now significantly reduced.”
A report in the Salisbury Post includes a quote from Terry Bralley; “While Rowan still has Parkdale Mills and Tuscarora Yarn, Davie hasn’t had a textile manufacturing plant for years” Bralley said.
This project would change all that. Davie County’s skilled workforce, excellent workforce development programs at DCCC and our location on Interstate 40 just a few miles away from I-77 and I-85 makes this an ideal location for manufacturing.