Upholstery Fabrics Manufacturer Expands in Reidsville

David Rothschild Company, an upholstery and decorative fabrics manufacturer and marketer, plans to expand its Reidsville, NC operation.  The company is investing more than $400,000 in a 10,000 square foot warehouse addition, building improvements   and remodel of its design center.

The improvements will support future growth and increase efficiency.   The company expects the expansion to be complete by the end of the year.  David Rothschild Company completed a $500,000 capital program last year by investing in new machinery and equipment.

“American textiles are still challenging, but we have been able to invest in our continuous search for niche opportunities,” said Walter Rothschild, president of David Rothschild Company.

“This project is another example of a business expansion related to one of our legacy industries, in this case the textile business,” said Reidsville Mayor Jay Donecker. “We appreciate the investment David Rothschild Company is making in Reidsville and we hope to continue partnering with them for many years to come.”

“Another investment by David Rothschild Company in just a little over a year is very great news for Rockingham County.  This expansion is another example of the growth we continue to see in textiles, one of our traditional industry sectors.  We appreciate David Rothschild Company’s continued investment in and commitment to Reidsville and Rockingham County,” said Jan Critz, Director of Economic Development & Tourism for Rockingham County.

David Rothschild Company was founded in 1886 as a wholesale dry goods business in Columbus, GA where it still maintains its corporate headquarters.  The fourth-generation, family-owned company opened the Reidsville plant in 1992 where it designs and weaves upholstery fabrics.  Products include interior and outdoor fabrics that are sold to indoor and outdoor furniture manufacturers, recreation vehicle manufacturers, contract and office panel manufacturers, manufacturers catering to health care, drapery and bed coverings manufacturers, pillow manufacturers, decorative fabric distributors, fabric stores, and others.

Rockingham Community College Opens New Simulated Hospital

After nearly five years of planning and renovation, the Simulated Hospital at Rockingham Community College was officially opened on Tuesday, Sept. 20.

The Simulated Hospital is located in the N. Jerry Owens Jr. Health Sciences Building, on the RCC campus at 562 County Home Road.

sim_hospital_opening_erRCC’s programs of study housed in the facility include nursing, surgical technology, respiratory therapy, phlebotomy, and emergency medical technology.  The building features examination rooms, a trauma and emergency department, skills labs, patient care areas, ICU/birthing center, and a surgery/trauma department site.  An atrium area is specifically designed for use by students and the community. There are quiet spaces for study groups in addition to areas where students can review and critique just-completed patient scenarios.

“One of the biggest challenges that educators have is providing a hands-on training environment for our students. Traditionally, health sciences students are placed in a variety of hospital and doctor’s office settings in an effort to have them experience a wide variety of patient care; we call these clinical experiences,” explained RCC’s president, Dr. Mark Kinlaw.  “Where previously our students worked in isolation and in a variety of buildings across campus, now students from all disciplines will come together, just like a real hospital, to provide medical care. We at RCC are dedicated to providing the best education possible for our students, and this simulated hospital will help us prepare students for success.”

The building was constructed in 1995 as a multi-purpose facility featuring a child development center, senior center, and classrooms and labs for Early Childhood and health sciences programs.  In 2011, college trustees voted to renovate the building to include a simulated hospital—a state-of-the-art facility where students benefit from an interdisciplinary approach to health education.  Students use a variety of low- and high-fidelity programmable mannequins, video equipment, and computers to experience realistic case scenarios and develop their skills in a safe setting.

To support the effort, the Rockingham Community College Foundation launched a drive to raise funds for construction and equipment.  The “Campaign for Advanced Healthcare Education” raised $3.8 million of the total project’s $4.6 million target; a portion of the funds raised were from donors who transferred their gifts from a project to construct a civic center on campus; college trustees voted to suspend that project.

A $1.27 million contribution by the Reidsville Area Foundation enabled the simulated hospital project to be reduced from three phases to one, saving time and dollars.  A number of other organizations, businesses, and individuals have contributed to the project.  The fundraising campaign continues, with donations going to provide equipment.  Individuals and firms interested in sponsorship opportunities are invited to contact Cindy Sarwi in the RCC Development Office.

The building is named after Dr. N. Jerry Owens, Jr., RCC’s second president, who served as president from 1983 to 1996.  He later served as a trustee.

Clark, Patterson & Lee, an architectural firm with offices in Raleigh and Charlotte, served as project architect.  H.M. Kern, of Greensboro, was the general contractor.

Gov. Announces Grand Opening of Unifi Repreve Bottle Processing Center in Reidsville

Expanded bottle processing center gives Unifi more recycling prowess

By Richard Craver
Winston-Salem Journal
September 7, 2016

REIDSVILLE — Thousands of bales of plastic bottles occupied a warehouse floor Wednesday, awaiting the promise of new life at Unifi Inc.’s expanded $28 million Repreve processing center in Reidsville.

For those bottles that emerge from a stringent sorting process, seven eventually will be turned into enough recycled polyester yarn to produce a pair of classic fit casual dress pants by Haggar. Another 16 bottles will become seat covers in a Ford F-150 truck.unifi

The polyester chips — about the size of a Tic Tac breath mint — are made from post-consumer plastics, such as soda and water bottles, along with post-industrial fiber and fabric waste.

The bottles and fiber waste are chopped, grounded, melted and reformulated into the chips, which are then extruded and textured into the yarns. To date, about 4 billion plastic bottles have been recycled into Repreve yarn.

The 150,000-square-foot processing center — of which 80,000 square feet and accompanying equipment are new — represents the Greensboro manufacturer’s latest step toward bringing the entire Repreve recycling process in house. When at full production, the center will operate around-the-clock seven days a week, said Thomas Caudle, Unifi’s chief executive.

“This is a bottle-processing center unlike anything else in the world,” said Caudle, who was promoted from vice president of manufacturing to chief executive in an abrupt management turnover in April.

The chips produced at the Reidsville center — about 200,000 pounds a day — are shipped to Unifi’s yarn-manufacturing plant in Yadkinville, where the company has about 1,000 employees.

The Reidsville processing center comes with 87 new jobs — about half of which have been filled — expanding the center’s workforce to more than 240.

Unifi gets plastic bottles through entering into one-year sourcing contracts with municipalities along the East Coast, as well as third-party buyers of used plastic bottles. Caudle said conversations with Coke and Pepsi indicate they have no plans to go away from plastic bottles in the near term.

Gov. Pat McCrory, taking a tour of the center during the grand-opening ceremony, said he was impressed with how Unifi has met consumer demand for high-quality apparel and other products with from sustainable and environmentally friendly resources.

“This expansion of Unifi’s Repreve business furthers North Carolina’s leadership in high-tech manufacturing,” McCrory said.
The N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority provided Unifi with a $500,000 existing building reuse grant toward the expansion. An $861,000 grant from the state Commerce Department was provided to the city of Reidsville for critical sewer line upgrades to the plant. The Yadkinville plant received a $190,000 state grant.

McCrory said the three grants demonstrate the state’s commitment to meeting the growth needs of the state’s manufacturers.
Making another pitch for his $2 billion Connect NC initiative that voters approved in March in a statewide referendum, McCrory said “it’s hard to recruit and expand without upgraded water and sewer infrastructure and connectivity.”

Customers: Adidas, North Faceunifitruck
Repreve, which debuted in 2005, didn’t just enable Unifi to survive a deeply unprofitable period during the 2000s to be profitable the last five fiscal years.

It has also become a pivotal link between global apparel marketers and consumers. Among Unifi’s customers are Adidas, Dockers, New Balance, The North Face, Polartec and Timberland.

About 47 percent of Unifi’s customer base is apparel, followed by 18 percent in hosiery (mostly socks, tights and leg wear), 15 percent industrial customers, 9 percent home furnishings and 7 percent automotive fabrics.

“The vertical integration of our Repreve manufacturing program highlights an important next step in our continued push toward sustainability and producing high-quality, value-added products that have become a trusted resources for many of the largest apparel and retailers of the world,” Caudle said.

Unifi’s extrusion lines run around-the-clock at its Yadkinville recycling center, which opened in 2011. The center was expanded earlier this year to 130,000 square feet. Unifi has invested more than $25 million in the Yadkinville center.

The company is currently converting about 42 million pounds of recycled products a year: 31 million pounds of post-consumer plastic bottles and 11 million pounds of post-industrial fiber and fabric waste.

At that production level, the Yadkinville center accounts annually for the conversion of 900 million recycled plastic bottles. The recycling also means the equivalent of 16 million gallons of gasoline are not being required to make virgin polyester and nylon.

With the Reidsville bottle-processing center on line, Unifi plans to ramp up production to 76 million pounds by the end of this year and eventually to 100 million pounds.

Bottles that don’t made the sorting cut will be sold to companies that make consumer food packaging, such as cups and takeout containers, as well as non-food application such as strapping and film.

“This center will create a new channel of revenue,” Caudle said.

Unifi has launched brand extensions that include poultry bedding through its Repreve Renewables subsidiary. Unifi also makes lesser-known yarns for moisture management (Sorbtek), ultraviolet protection, and with antimicrobial and odor-control properties.

Caudle said he draws professional and personal satisfaction from the expanded centers in Reidsville and Yadkinville.

“I was fortunate to help build many of our North Carolina plants in the 1990s and had the misfortune to participate in shutting down several of them in the 2000s,” Caudle said.

“I’m now fortunate enough to see the Repreve innovations help this center expand for the benefit of the company and the local community.”