McComb Mill to layoff 40-45 workers

Published 11:14 pm Saturday, January 26, 2008

The owner of a fabric-knitting mill in McComb will lay off 40-45 workers and combine some production with an operation in North Carolina.

McComb Mill owner Todd Whitley said the layoffs, expected during the next three to six months, will leave 10-15 workers on the job.

Founded in 1949, McComb Mill knits and dyes fabric for clothing. Whitley, who was the mill’s manager in 2002, bought the facility in December 2002 from Kellwood Co., which planned to close it.

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The mill’s future plans should be known in about three to four months, he said.

Whitley said employees were notified Tuesday of the decision.

The layoffs are the second for the mill in four months. Several employees were sent home in October.

Whitley said most of the mill’s production will be combined with operations at Alexander Fabrics in Burlington, N.C., to reduce costs and improve service.

He said McComb Mill has a cooperative agreement with Alexander Fabrics.

Whitley said the transition “will dramatically improve our chances of survival in a declining industry.”

“The cost of raw materials and energy have gone up, and the price of fabrics from Asia are dropping, and the U.S. textile industry is squeezed in the middle,” Whitley said.