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The new plant also reflects a large investment in sustainable technologies and processes. The end result is a facility that operates with considerably less environmental impact than other yarn dyeing operations both here in North America and abroad.
Meanwhile, despite installing a new generation of robotics, the company has added positions and is in the process of retraining employees to work with the new technologies.
“We’ve met the initial employment targets of adding 25 jobs and are hiring and retraining,” said Manson. “We did not lose any positions due to new technology.” Meanwhile, the company’s human resources manager, Debbie Sigmon, has begun working extensively in the community and with the local community colleges to develop programmes to train a new generation of textile workers, attract new talent to the region and develop concepts for a workplace that appeals to a younger generation.
“It was important to us to keep manufacturing jobs in the US while supporting the US textile supply chain as well as the community where we’ve been located for so many decades,” said Manson. “The new plant and the programmes we’re working on in the community do all of the above.
“We are very fortunate to have the ongoing support of our parent company, Meridian Industries. The owner of Meridian very much understands the important role manufacturing operations like ours play in the communities where we operate, as well as the importance of supporting US-based textile operations. We are very proud to be part of Meridian Industries.”
The technologies in Meridian’s new manufacturing plant will also bring faster delivery to the North American supply chain for all the industries the company serves, including hosiery, home furnishings and upholstery, apparel, narrow fabrics, carpets and rugs, sewing thread, craft and industrial textiles.
“It’s very exciting and an achievement that has set the stage for a new future for our company, our customers and the North American textile industry,” Manson said. “Simply put, there is no other dye house in the Western Hemisphere that can offer a wider array of processes and capabilities than we can at this plant.”
Meridian Specialty Yarn Group is the leading specialty yarn and fibre wet processing operation in the United States. At the company’s new, state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Valdese, North Carolina, Meridian offers package dyed yarn, space dyed yarn, top dyed wool, yarn printing and twisting and is now also home to the only tow-dyeing capacity in the US. In addition, the new plant can dye or chemically treat any fibre substrate, from cellulosic to acrylic to many aramids. At Meridian’s novelty spinning operation in Ranlo, North Carolina, the company produces coarse count novelty yarn from various substrates using six different yarn formation technologies. The end uses for these yarns include home furnishings, hosiery, industrial, craft and apparel.