Yarn firm invests $3.5M in Clover

Tuscarora Yarns is expanding its Clover plant, investing $3.5 million to buy new machinery and expand the building.

It is also expected to hire 40 new workers over the next three years.

Most of the new hires should come in the next few months, said Phil Absher, vice president for human resources of the Mount Pleasant, N.C.-based company.

The yarn manufacturer is looking for skilled and semi-skilled workers and people with supervisory experience, he said.

The 190,000-square-foot Clover facility currently employs 150 people, a third of who were hired in the past year, the company said. The expansion will increase plant capacity by 20 percent.

Tuscarora is one of the largest U.S. producers of cotton, synthetic and blended yarns. The company merged with CloverTex in May 2009.

Since the merger, operations have expanded at the Clover plant from operating only two to three days a week to a four-shift-a-day schedule, Absher said.

The popularity of a triblend of rayon, polyester and cotton yard is responsible for the increased workload, he said. The triblend is found in all levels of fashion.

Tuscarora yarns are also used by home furnishing and automotive industries.

Absher said it has been a good year for the company, which also has plants in Oakboro and China Grove in North Carolina.

He said employees were given turkeys for Thanksgiving, and they will get a steak dinner before Christmas. Employees are also getting a Christmas bonus, he said.

The plant expansion qualifies for the state abatement of property taxes. Tuscarora will get a 20 percent abatement over the next five years. The company will pay school district taxes on the expansion.

No local incentives were negotiated, said Mark Farris, executive director of the York County Economic Development.

“They have a niche market and a backlog of orders,” Farris said.

The expansion is part of a small rebirth of the textile industry in York County, Farris said.

In July, Pulcra Chemicals announced it was moving its U.S. operations from Charlotte to Rock Hill. The move signaled a $2.6 million investment and expanding the workforce by 15 jobs. Among Pulcra’s core clients are the textile industry.

In September, Lava USA announced it was shifting its textile operations from Gastonia, N.C., to York. The company is investing $3.5 million in new equipment and planned to hire six new technicians. The work force could grow by as many as 40 people over the next five years, company officials said. The company makes fabric for mattresses.

Absher cited several reasons for the resurgence of American textile firms.

“People are understanding the quality of being U.S. made,” he said, and they want their products in a timely manner.

By Don Worthington, Staff Reporter with The Herald