HanesBrands Reshores 120 Jobs

HanesBrands will add 120 jobs to expand the scope of production at its Clarksville, Ark., sheer hosiery plant to take the place of offshore outsourcing.

The Clarksville plant at 1904 W. Clark Rd. is one of the largest hosiery knitting facilities in the world and has a workforce of approximately 450 today. In cooperation with the city of Clarksville, Johnson County and the state of Arkansas, Hanesbrands decided to increase employment at its Clarksville plant to add finishing and packaging of Hanes and designer hosiery sold at department stores. That work is now outsourced and conducted offshore.

"We are delighted to be able to add jobs at our Clarksville plant," said Javier Chacon, Hanes senior vice president of global operations. "It is not easy for a U.S. plant to compete with offshore competitors, but the capabilities of our plant workforce and management team in Clarksville to continuously adapt, automate and improve efficiency is a testament to the resiliency of this facility since it opened in 1988."

The plant's competitiveness also is aided by its scale and size, superior product quality, leading safety record, lower U.S. energy costs, and proximity to the U.S. market.

"I am so proud of this plant and our employees," Plant Manager Cathy Stalcup said. "The hosiery business has been impacted for more than two decades by workplace trends away from formal dress to casual business attire, but our employees' commitment to flexibility, knowledge of automation and dedication to quality and safety has kept the Clarksville plant at the forefront of global competitiveness."

The new jobs will average approximately $39,000 per year in wages and benefits, a $4.7 million economic infusion into the local economy each year. Hanes expects to invest approximately $1.5 million to buy and install additional machinery and to relocate and upgrade its packaging and dyeing operations.

"As companies continue to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., we are committed to making Arkansas a leader in job creation and manufacturing," said Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. "Thanks to HanesBrands for its decision to make this significant expansion in Arkansas. The fact the company chose to expand this specific facility demonstrates the quality of our workforce in Clarksville."

Unlike most apparel companies, Hanes manufactures the majority of its products in company-owned plants in its global supply chain. For the North American market, Hanes currently knits all of its sheer hosiery in Clarksville, splits the sewing of seams for the knit hosiery between Clarksville and a company-owned facility in El Salvador, and splits the finishing and packaging of hosiery between Clarksville for mass retailers and an offshore contractor for department stores. The expansion will result in all finishing and packaging being conducted in Clarksville. The company also operates hosiery manufacturing facilities in Europe for the European market.

A decade ago, the Clarksville plant had 480 employees, approximately the same as today. Over the past decade, the plant has adapted and added new work and capabilities, including the consolidation of the company's product development labs for hosiery and seamless apparel. Today, the plant even makes some seamless knit bras, such as Bali Comfort Revolution seamless bras.

The Clarksville plant is an important provider of jobs in the community and contributor to the stability and quality of life. More than 85 percent of the plant's employees have at least 10 years of service with the company.

"I have seen many changes over the years, which has resulted in amazing opportunities for me personally and for others," 13-year Hanes Clarksville employee Miriah Jones said. "I have always felt extremely blessed about how much we have grown and been successful over the years. Big changes and opportunities are coming and with that comes great pride and responsibility to be working for such a valuable team.

Hanes worked with and appreciates the assistance of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Johnson County Economic Development Corporation to bring the additional jobs and associated economic influx to Clarksville. The agencies are providing approximately $900,000 in job development incentives and training assistance.

"HanesBrands has been an outstanding corporate citizen in our community for so many years, and this expansion will help the wellbeing of our community and contribute to continued long-term steady growth," Clarksville Mayor Mark Simpson said. "It's with great honor that we continue to partner with HanesBrands."

Travis Stephens, CEO and chief economic development officer for the Clarksville-Johnson County Regional Chamber of Commerce, added, "We appreciate Hanesbrands' confidence in our workforce and their substantial commitment to continued growth in our community. We're also excited that this was our first opportunity to utilize our local economic development funds for incentives and partner with the state to help attract more jobs to Clarksville."
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