Rockingham County Celebrates 70 Years of Tri-City Glass & Mirror

At its meeting last night, the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners recognized Tri-City Glass & Mirror of Eden for its 70th anniversary of being in business.  The locally owned and operated company provides glass and mirror products for the residential and commercial markets throughout North Carolina, southern Virginia and portions of West Virginia. 

Tri-City Glass & Mirror father-son owners, Dana and Dustin Hussey and family, with the Rockingham County Commissioners during the recognition at the Dec. 2, 2019 board meeting.

Tri-City Glass & Mirror was originally established in the “Draper” area of Eden in 1949 by the Martin brothers.  They moved the company to its current location on Stadium Drive and named it Tri-City after the three small mill towns that formed the City of Eden. 

Current owner Dana Hussey and his brothers acquired the company in 1985.  Hussey took full ownership of Tri-City Glass in 1991 and has been leading the company since then with a staff of about 10 full-time employees.

“Customer service, superior workmanship and quality products sums up our success for 70 years,” said Dana Hussey, owner and president of Tri-City Glass & Mirror.  “This is a great place to do business.  The people of Eden and Rockingham County have been very good to us over the years and we are forever grateful for their support. ”

Tri-City Glass & Mirror makes products for a variety of residential and commercial uses.  Residential products range from custom glass showers, auto glass and mirrors, sunrooms, awnings and canopies, to bathroom and gym mirrors, glass table tops, replacement windows, insulated glass, and more. 

In recent years, Sheetz has been one of the company’s largest commercial customers.  Tri-City Glass & Mirror has furnished and installed store fronts for over 100 Sheetz stores in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.  The company has also provided products for more than 50 remodeled McDonald’s restaurants in North Carolina and Virginia.

Hussey says he is semi-retired but has set the company on a secure path for the third generation.  His son Dustin came on board in 2012 as vice president and is now in charge of the day-to-day operations.

“On behalf of the Board of Commissioners, congratulations to Tri-City Glass & Mirror and its dedicated employees for reaching this milestone.  We thank Dana and the entire company for their commitment to doing business in Rockingham County for the last 70 years,” said Reece Pyrtle, chairman of the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners. “We hope to see them have many more years of success here in Rockingham County.”

Italian Machinery Producer Selects Rockingham County

Bovone, an Italian manufacturer of machinery and technologies for the second processing of flat glass and natural and synthetic stones, has selected Rockingham County and Reidsville, North Carolina for its new North American headquarters.  The company plans to be operational in early 2020 and will serve the North American markets from the new Reidsville facility, which is its first in the United States.

Bovone locates first U.S. facility in Rockingham County, North Carolina.

Bovone recently finalized the purchase of its new facility in Reidsville, which was the former Harley Davidson Dealership on Barnes Street.  The company will upfit the space to accommodate commercial offices, a spare parts warehouse and a mechanical workshop.

“We are excited about this new venture,” said Federica Bovone, president of Bovone. “Bovone has been successfully selling its machines in the United States for 45 years and the time has come that we expand into this market with a physical location so we can continue to effectively and efficiently meet the demands of our loyal customer base.  Thanks to all who made this project possible and a special thank you to the local Rockingham County and Reidsville economic development organizations as well as the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina who helped us navigate this complex process.”

The new headquarters is a strategic decision aimed to answer market demand in synergy with Bovone’s distributor in the area, Salem Distributing Company in Winston-Salem. The new headquarters will consolidate the presence of the brand in a market that, year after year, continues to value Italian made technologies.  With this new location, Bovone will be able to guarantee faster response times and even more efficient sales support. 

Bovone chose to locate its North American headquarters in North Carolina because of the state’s rich history in the furniture industry, a leading sector for glass. In addition, the company was also attracted to the fact that the state has been ranked as one of the top five pro-business states in the country by Forbes magazine.

 “We are thrilled that Bovone chose Rockingham County and Reidsville for its first U.S. operation.  To have another international company invest in our county proves that the economy is strong and that our strategic location for reaching major U.S. markets continues to be attractive to companies looking to move product to market in a timely manner ,” said Leigh Cockram, director of the Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business & Tourism.  “It’s also exciting to see the repurposing of a previously vacant commercial building.”

Reidsville’s Mayor Jay Donecker adds, “This is another example of how strong the Reidsville economy is and how assets such as Interstate 785 and other infrastructure investments are paying dividends.   Reidsville is also becoming a hotbed of international companies with over $50 million in Foreign Direct Investment in the past 18 months.  We welcome Bovone to Team Reidsville.”

ABOUT BOVONE
Bovone is a worldwide manufacturer of solutions and technologies for the second processing of flat glass and natural and synthetic stones.  The company’s product lines are structured in two main areas of excellence: the product line consisting of stand-alone machines,  for grinding, bevelling and washing of glass and stone;  and the product line dedicated to complete plants for the silvering (coating) and layering of glass. These two areas are integrated to create the fully automated BRS Bovone Robotic System grinding islands.  Bovone was founded in 1954 and is based in Ovada Italy in the Province of Alessandria. 

Learn more at bovone.com.

County’s First Brew Pub Opens & Draws Great Crowds

From RockinghamNow
By Susie C. Spear

David Peters is the kind of man you want to see behind your hometown bar.

His wry wit, knowledge of chemistry, and exceptional ability to create refreshing beers with complex personalities are gifts he brings this small town with the establishment of his tap room, Hell on Horsecreek Brewing.

Behind his dark auburn beard, there’s a smile alight with mischief. And it’s the kind of mischief that makes him electrocute tables in his woodworking shop and give human names to his fermenting and serving tanks.

Rockingham County, NC's first brewery, Hell on Horsecreek Brewery, opens in downtown Madison, NC.

Creativity drives Peters to bring smoke and fire to the beers he serves from 107 E. Murphy St. in historic downtown. And this trademark has him smoking barley and rye out back with hickory, cherry and mesquite. You’ll also find him preparing massive batches of poblano or habanero peppers for infusion to a brew.

Peters found Madison and his tap room building by chance.

Working in Greensboro for a chemical company and living in Kernersville, he didn’t know Madison existed until a couple years back when the expansion of U.S. 220/I-73 tempted him to take a peek at the western corners of Rockingham County, he confessed.

Since opening in late October, the rustic and family-friendly pub has drawn healthy crowds to its blond wooden bar Peters handcrafted himself.

Comfy seating, including rockers and a hobby horse for children, complement custom wood-worked tables, all laden with wood chip coasters branded with the pub’s logo –a trident-wielding devil on horseback.

Prices are great, with 16-ounce pours for $5 and served without pretense in canning jars.

Peters, with Australian Shepherd house dog Louis at his side, recently pulled up to his favorite corner bar seat to share his thoughts about beer and business:

Q: Why did you choose Madison for a tap room?

Answer: “My wife had a commute, I had a commute, the kids were out of the house, and it was time to downsize. We were in Kernersville. And in within a couple months, we found this place. We were looking in this area for a house, then we found this building and it kinda just all came together nicely. I keep telling everybody, none of it woulda happened without that new highway. We never woulda thought of coming up this way.’’

Q: What triggered your interest in opening a pub?

Answer: “I’m a home brewer gone big. I brewed on my back porch with friends for years, and we usually drank more than we should have while we were brewing, and then it sort of evolved. Beers got better, then this idea started growing. And then the opportunity arose and I thought, I wanna do something I wanna do.’’

Q: What was your former career?

Answer: “I was chemical manufacturing engineer, dealing with liquids and flow. So it was a good transition of skills. I’m a mechanical engineer.’’

Q: Where are you originally from?

Answer: “We came down from Ohio—up near Cleveland — to get away from the snow. Before that we were (Philadelphia) Eagles fans for 19 years. I’m a (Boston) Red Sox fan by birth.’’

Q: Can you tell us about your family?

Answer: “My wife is a teacher. We have two kids and one grand-kid. The kids are across the country.’’

Q: How did you learn to make beer?

Answer: “My wife bought me a Mr. Brew kit. It’s a 2 ½ gallon brew kit, and it comes with cans of brewing materials and you just mix it together and follow directions. And that got boring very quick, because I’m not good at following directions,’’ he said, chuckling.

“So it just sort of grew from that kit about 15 years ago. Then I came down here and got a lot more serious about it. I found some friends that were also brewing and had equipment and had skills. I learned a lot from them and applied it and grew from there.’’

Q: Can you tell me about your logo?

Answer: “Justin Sergent is the artist. He came up with the logo. I told him I wanted Don Quixote on horseback with a trident in his hand,’’ Peters said with a laugh. “And Justin does the pottery mugs we sell, too. He just has a good personality for this, so he helped a lot and a lot of other friends helped out and were there to fill in the gaps.

“And then when we got the building, things got a lot more real, and they would come in and help with all the dirty jobs. I don’t know if I ever expressed enough thanks to those guys for tearing down the snake skins that were in the rafters as we tore down ceilings. It was just some disgusting work they helped with.’’

Q: What were the first beers you ever tasted?

Answer: “Way too many cans of Schlitz in my neighbor’s basement when I was way too young during a pig roast. That was a terrible drinking experience.’’

Q: What motivates you to create unique combinations for your brews? How does the development of a beer happen?

Answer: “You can buy a regular beer anywhere. I like to make beers that are a little bit interesting, a little bit outside the normal. Even when I make something considered a normal beer, there’s something in there that I know is in there that makes it a little bit different, whether it’s a different grain added or a different combination of hops or yeast. It’s something that I did that makes it my beer. And I love when I get told ‘you can’t do that,’ and then I do it and it works. I just have that type of personality.

“I like smoke and peppers in my beer. And I like figuring out how to add it so it makes a good beer people like, even if at first they think it sounds terrible.’’

Q: So how do you get smoke and heat into your flavor profile?

Answer: “I smoke the grains and I put peppers in the beer. It’s really that simple. There’s lots of ways to do it. I do it as simply as I possibly can. It’s trial and error. If I wanna make a beer that’s a dark and smoky beer, I’ll soak it in hickory, cherry and mesquite to get that set of flavors. This beer I’m drinking is the Hop Dragon, that’s smoked in … mesquite to give a nice light smoked flavor.

“What drove me to it is that I love Scotch. I’m a huge fan of Scotch — its smoky, peaty flavor. I don’t want a beer that’s just charcoal and melts your face off with too many peppers. It’s gotta have the right flavor, the right balance.

“Every beer gets its own pepper. I’ve got a beer with poblano, habanero. I use Carolina reapers in one beer, merita peppers in another, jalapenos …’’

Q: What will you have on tap next?

Answer: “I want to make and sell beers people love to drink. The next beer coming up is “Brimstone,” and that’s my flagship beer. And people surprising like this smoked grain, hoppy poblano, black rye combination.’’

Q: Where do you smoke your grains?

Answer: “I have a smoker I drag out back,’’ Peters says, pointing to a retro refrigerator he gutted and converted for the job. “Then I give all the spent grain to a farmer who gives it to his chickens and pigs.’’

Q: How does the brewing process work?

Answer: “I’ve got what’s called a brew house, fermenter tanks and serving tanks. The brew house has a 50-gallon capacity, then the fermenters and serving tanks are all 100 gallons.

“Six serving tanks hook up directly to the taps … The serving tanks are all chilled and insulated and jacketed and kept at 38 degrees.

Q: How long does it take?

Answer: “When I do a double batch it is a 15-hour brew day. And it’s a busy brew day because there’s a lot of transfers between the two tanks. Once it goes into the fermenter, you leave it alone for about a week. Then I start checking readings on it to see how it’s doing and try to calculate when it’s gonna be done. It’ll be in a fermenter for 10-15 days. I’ll take samples, take specific gravity readings, which tells you the density of the beer.”

Q: Your tanks have names?

Answer: “I named them all. This is Jeronimo, Harriet, Ichabod, Jezebel, Lucinda, Oscar, Phyllis … It’s much funner than calling everything Tank 1 or Tank 2. They have personality … Phyllis just can’t wait to get a beer in her. She’s been sitting empty for months! Jezebel’s a show off. She got the first beer. She’s the first tank to get two beers in her.’’

Q: How did you make the intricate patterns on your handmade wooden tables, tap handles, and bar?

Answer: “I electrocuted the wood. Electric current follows the pattern of the wood somehow. I can’t explain how it does what it does. These are called Lichtenberg patterns,’’ he says, pointing out lacy patterns he notes are evocative of bonsai trees.

“It’s similar to when lightning strikes sand … it will leave a pattern like that in 3-D. I rig a power source with big wires and hunks of metal and an assortment of paint brushes to make it all work. Then I drop big electrodes across the top of the wood and it just goes.’’

Q: How are you settling into the area?

Answer: “I’ve been pleased with the county, and pleased with the town. The town leadership has been super helpful with everything. The public has been super welcoming with everything.”

Q: What kind of vibe do you want for Hell on Horsecreek?

Answer: “I grew up watching “Cheers.” I wanted to be Norm. I wanted a bar that I could go in and have a place that I wanted to hang out at. So I built a place like that.

“The bar had to have a corner, so I built a corner into my bar. I hope people come here and find that it’s comfortable and we treat them well, and they like the beer and they come back and hang out. And so far we’ve had that. I’ve already got people I would call regulars who are here every night or every other night. I like that. That’s what I want.”

“I want young families to feel welcome. I had kids. I liked finding a place where I could bring the kids and sit down and have a beer and the kids were comfortable, too. And bring your dog if you like. It’s fine as long as Louis likes your dog,’’ he said, chuckling.

Beers on tap

A sampler of some beers you may find in rotation at Hell on Horsefire Creek as described by Peters

Hosewater ESB: The owner’s favorite with darker, smooth, malty flavor and extra special bitter with a touch of corn for a sweet finish.

Raspberry Charade: Voted #1 Best Oatmeal Raspberry Wheat in Madison for two weekends in a row. Smooth, tart, creamy, and satisfying.

Martin the Dirty Marzen: A near-traditional German lager, caramelized lovingly in the kettle. Malty, not too bitter.

Hop Dragon: Legendary terror of the Cascade Mountains, the fearsome Hop Dragon is smoked in pecan and mesquite, fired up with arbol chili peppers and hopped with loads of citrus.

Rockingham County Economic Development Launches New GIS Tool

-The County is the first in the state to utilize the power-packed, web-based tool.-

The Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business & Tourism launched a new, leading-edge geographic information systems (GIS) property search tool on its website.  GIS WebTech’s Recruit is the new, power-packed tool that is now available at GoRockinghamCountyNC.com/Buildings & Sites

Rockingham County is the first community in North Carolina to use the tool, which will help companies, site selection consultants and commercial real estate brokers looking for properties find just what they need.

Recruit is an extensive online search tool of Rockingham County’s commercial/industrial real estate listings. It is designed to help business owners, brokers, site selectors and communities locate available commercial and industrial sites and buildings in the county.  It offers a free, searchable database of available buildings and sites, along with maps of demographics and customized reports.

 “Our new Recruit tool is a great, one-stop data resource for decision makers as they analyze and select business locations,” said Leigh Cockram, director of the Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business & Tourism. “It’s a powerful new tool that combines technology and data into one place to help businesses locate, expand and grow in Rockingham County.  Recruit allows us to promote this community with the best GIS and market data available.  ”

Recruit is more than a listing database of properties. Users can overlap data to create on-demand reports that combine property listings with labor market information, incentive information, infrastructure, census data, maps, local amenities and more.

“If a company is looking for a property with around 80,000 square feet of manufacturing space that’s 30 minutes from Piedmont Triad International Airport and is serviced by rail, this tool on our website has the capability to quickly pull up what’s available,” said Cockram.

About GIS WebTech
GIS WebTech provides the most advanced technology solutions available for economic development and site selection. GIS WebTech is the fastest-growing provider in the market, and serves economic development organizations of all sizes, from small, rural communities to large states. As an Esri partner, GIS WebTech’s solutions are built natively on the Esri ArcGIS platform, the world’s most powerful mapping software, and include the most accurate demographic and workforce data available.   For more information, please see www.giswebtech.com.

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Gildan Yarns to Create 85 New Jobs in Rockingham County, NC

Gildan Yarns, a yarn-spinning company, will create 85 jobs in Rockingham County, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The company will invest approximately $5 million to revamp and operate a new yarn spinning mill in Eden.

Rockingham County Commissioner Kevin Berger; President of Gildan Yarns Chuck Ward; NC Secretary of Commerce Tony Copeland; Rockingham County Commissioner Mark Richardson; and Rockingham County Director of Economic Development and Tourism Leigh Cockram.

“Eden and Gildan Yarns have been great economic partners, and it makes sense with their existing presence and the strong workforce that they would expand,” said Governor Cooper.

Gildan Yarns is the yarn spinning division of Gildan, a leading apparel manufacturer headquartered in Montreal, Canada. This new location will be the company’s fifth state-of-the-art yarn spinning mill in North Carolina. Eden is also home to Gildan’s first large scale distribution center.

“We are very pleased to expand our operations in the Eden community and to invest in a new yarn spinning facility,” said Chuck Ward, President of Gildan Yarns. “This will be the company’s seventh yarn spinning facility in the US. We are particularly proud to contribute to creating an additional 85 jobs in Eden in the next year as we open and ramp up our new operation.”

“Gildan Yarns’ decision further solidifies our leadership in the textile industry,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “North Carolina has more textile manufacturers than any other state and a world-class pipeline of textile talent to continue Gildan’s global operations.”

The North Carolina Department of Commerce led the state’s support for the company’s decision.

Although wages will vary depending on the position, the average for all new positions could reach up to $37,707. The current average annual wage in Rockingham County is $34,716.

A performance-based grant of $250,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help facilitate Gildan Yarn’s operation in Rockingham County.  The One NC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment.  All One NC grants require a matching grant from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.

“Gaining 85 new jobs is great news, and we welcome Gildan Yarns’ expansion in Eden,” said N.C. Senate Leader Phil Berger. “The economy is positioned for more growth like this because of low taxes, an incredible university system, and a top-notch workforce.”

“Gildan Yarns’ investment is a win for everyone,” said N.C. Representative Jerry Carter. “With a strong, capable workforce and great infrastructure, the people of Eden are ready to support Gildan for many years to come.”

In addition to N.C. Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other key partners in the project include the North Carolina General Assembly, North Carolina Community College System, Rockingham County Board of Commissioners, Rockingham County Economic Development Office and City of Eden.

Manufacturing Week: Spotlight on Stoneville, NC’s Industries

With a population of about 1,200 residents, the Town of Stoneville is Rockingham County, NC’s smallest municipality.  Stoneville has been a center of craftsmanship with an economic base that has historically been in furniture and home furnishings –related industries.

Stoneville’s largest manufacturing employer is Southern Finishing, which has about 200 employees.  As a supplier to the furniture industry, Southern Finishing has been operating in Rockingham County since 1978.  The company manufactures furniture and cabinet components, such as prefinished mouldings, accessories, panels, doors, kitchen and bath cabinet components, and bed rails.  It partners with manufacturers such as American Woodmark, Marsh Furniture, Armstrong Cabinets, Quality Cabinets and Thomasville Furniture.  Southern Finishing has its headquarters and four manufacturing facilities in Stoneville.  In 2018, the company announced an expansion that includes investing over $1.48 million in a 126,000 square-foot building in Stoneville and plans to create more than 50 new jobs.

Home grown company, Glass Dynamics was founded in Stoneville in 1985 and became a subsidiary of Poland-based Press Glass in 2017.   Glass Dynamics began exclusively as a glass fabricator for the furniture industry but transitioned into a leading commercial, residential and architectural glass fabricator. The company previously expanded four times in Rockingham County until it was purchased by Press Glass SA.  Press Glass is the largest independent flat glass processing operation in Europe.  The Stoneville location is the company’s second operation in the United States and has about 130 employees.

SANS Technical Fibers LLC (STF)is a manufacturer of specialty yarns for high specification end-uses. It is a global business and holds leading positions in several targeted niche markets.    The company has a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Stoneville with about 85 employees where it produces a broad range of specialty nylon and air-jet textured yarns.  Over the years, the company has added capabilities to its Stoneville plant to increase its position in the automotive, military and apparel markets in both industrial and textile applications.  Earlier this year, SANS announced a $4.9 million expansion in machinery and equipment and plans to add 25 new jobs. Sans Technical Fibers, LLC, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AECI LIMITED, a Johannesburg stock exchange listed chemical company. (AFE – JSE).  

Headquartered in Stoneville, TigerTek Industrial Services was established in 1983.  Today it is one of the largest industrial motor repair centers in the region.   The company, which is now onwed by Omnivest, LLC, repairs electric motors, pumps, gearboxes and servo motors that are critical to the continued operation of their customers, which include local manufacturing plants, municipalities (water and wastewater facilities), universities, food plants (dairies, bakeries), plastic and chemical plants, just to name a few.  TigerTek also operates a large machine shop for fabricating precision parts.

When TigerTek got its start, textile companies made up its core customers. TigerTek went against the odds and adapted when textiles moved overseas and automation began to dominate manufacturing. The company took a risk and invested in the knowledge to repair a new technology called “servo motors,” which are highly specialized motors used in automated manufacturing facilities.  Today, TigerTek is one of the largest servo motor repair shops in the U.S. and has about 40 employees.

In 2016, Sutherland Products (makers of Charlie’s Soap environmentally safe cleaning products) completed a major expansion by adding its second location in Rockingham County in Stoneville.  The company purchased a 120,000 square-foot facility in Stoneville that was part of a former furniture plant.  Sutherland Products invested over one million dollars in the Stoneville location, which now houses its corporate offices and distribution center.  The manufacturing of Charlie’s Soap products remains in Mayodan. The family-run business, which began in 1976, has about 20 employees between both locations.

Manufacturing Week: Spotlight on Reidsville, NC’s Industries

The City of Reidsville may be Rockingham County’s second largest municipality, but it ranks as number one when it comes to our largest manufacturing and industrial base.  With an industrial heritage that was based in the tobacco industry, Reidsville has transitioned to include a widely diverse mix of modern manufacturers and international companies.  In fact, many popular consumer branded products are made in Reidsville, NC.  Here are some brief snapshots of just a few of the companies that are part of Team Reidsville.

With about 400 employees, Reidsville’s largest manufacturing employer is Keystone Foods.  The company processes fresh and frozen poultry for popular consumer brands such as McDonald’s.  Now part of the Tyson Foods family, Keystone Foods is headquartered in Pennsylvania with operations in six countries.  The Reidsville facility, which opened in 1980, is one of approximately 25 manufacturing plants operated by the company. 

Israeli wet-wipes manufacturer, Albaad USA, is well on its way to becoming Reidsville’s largest manufacturing employer.   Albaad has about 200 employees at its wet-wipes manufacturing and packaging facility in the Reidsville Industrial Park.   Last year the company announced a major expansion that includes a second facility to produce feminine hygiene products such as sanitary pads and tampons.  Albaad purchased the former Ball plant and opened its Albaad FEM manufacturing facility earlier this year.  The company plans to eventually create about 300 jobs in the new Albaad FEM plant.  Once it’s at full capacity, Albaad will eventually have 500 employees in Reidsville.  

Albaad was the first tenant in the Reidsville Industrial Park in 2004 and this was the company’s first U.S. production facility.  As a world leader in non-woven textiles, Albaad makes private-label and branded products that are sold in more than 35 countries.  The Reidsville Industrial Park facility makes wet-wipes for a variety of uses, including personal, home and automotive care.  Private label wet-wipes brands made in Reidsville include Burt’s Bees and Parent’s Choice.

Headquartered in Reidsville, Global Textile Alliance manufactures bedding and upholstery fabrics that are sold to several major U.S. furniture brands. Established in 2001, the Reidsville plant is home to the company’s corporate headquarters, distribution, design, sales and marketing, finance and quality control divisions. The company has about 300 employees.

Henniges Automotive is a world-class sealing system solutions provider to the global automotive market with a manufacturing facility in Reidsville. Headquartered in Michigan, Henniges’ Reidsville plant opened in 1994 as Metzeler Automotive.  The company currently employs about 300 people in Reidsville and produces rubber automotive door and window seals at the local plant for automobile brands such as Ford, Chrysler, and BMW.  The Reidsville plant is one of 11 Henniges plants throughout the world.  The company has a total of more than 4,500 associates located across three continents.

Unifi, a world leading producer and processor of multi-filament polyester and nylon textured yarns, remains one of Rockingham County’s largest employers.  In addition to its Nylon manufacturing plant in Madison, Unifi operates a package dye operation and plastic bottle processing center in Reidsville. The dye plant opened in Reidsville in 1970.   In 2016, Unifi expanded at the existing Reidsville facility and opened its REPREVE® Bottle Processing Center.  The more than $28 million investment helped Unifi achieve its goal of vertical integration for its REPREVE® recycled product line, adding flexibility, expanding production capabilities and supporting volume growth. REPREVE is Unifi’s flagship brand of recycled fibers, made from recycled materials such as plastic water bottles.

The REPREVE Bottle Processing Center created more than 80 new jobs in Rockingham County.  It includes more than 150,000 square-feet of space in the existing Reidsville facility for a state-of-the-art recycling center that is one of the most advanced in the United States, with the capacity to produce annually 75 million pounds of the highest quality, consistent, clean bottle flake.  The flake is made from PET plastic bottles that are chopped, washed, dried and bagged for use in the production of REPREVE, or sold to other companies for a variety of consumer packaging applications, such as thermoformed food-grade packaging like cups and takeout containers, as well as non-food applications such as strapping and film.  Earlier this year, the company announced an expansion of its Repreve line with the new Repreve Our Ocean product made from ocean-bound plastic bottles.  REPREVE can be found in products ranging from apparel and hosiery to automotive and industrial applications, and is used by some of the world’s leading brands, including Patagonia, Haggar, Quiksilver and Ford. 

Amcor, a worldwide leader in tobacco packaging, operates a tobacco packaging plant in Reidsville.  Amcor is a global company that is headquartered in Australia and operates over 300 facilities throughout the world.  Amcor’s Reidsville Plant is one of 20 tobacco packaging plants in the world and is located in the Reidsville Industrial Park.   The Reidsville facility opened in 2006, bringing another international company to Rockingham County, and it currently has more than 100 full-time employees. 

Isometrics, Inc. is a manufacturer of aircraft refueling trucks, fuel handling products, and other tank trucks in Reidsville.  It has been manufacturing tanker trucks and fuel hauling equipment in Rockingham County since 1973.   Isometrics is a major contractor for the U.S. government, suppling trucks and equipment to the Department of Defense.  The company has about 100 employees in Rockingham County.

Reidsville is home to two significant plastic recyclers.  Plastic Revolutions has about 75 employees and recycles all form and grades of plastic scrap, specializing in high molecular weight plastics.  It also processes post-consumer plastic bottles from used detergent, milk jugs and other consumer products.  Plastic Revolutions produces around five million pounds of recycled plastic pellets per month.

Envision Plastics also has about 75 employees in Reidsville.  The company is a leading recycler of HDPE plastics and supplier of innovative Post Consumer Resin (PCR) solutions for corporate partners.  It provides resin for plastic electronics packaging, sunglasses, and other non-food items. 

In the last year, Reidsville has been fortunate to attract two new, industrial companies.  Sanritsu Logistics is an international logistics company that is headquartered in Japan.  The company is constructing a new warehouse and logistics operation in the Reidsville Industrial Park.  It will operate a kitting service for manufacturers from the Reidsville location, a service that streamlines the combination of items into packages of finished goods that are then delivered to customers.  Sanritsu plans to open soon and will create more than 20 jobs.

Pella Corporation, a leading manufacturer of window and door products for residential and commercial use, is opening a new manufacturing facility in Reidsville.  The company plans to be operational by the end of year and is creating 125 new jobs.  Pella purchased a former spec building and will manufacture patio doors and vinyl windows in Reidsville.  Founded in Des Moines, Iowa in 1925, Pella is family-owned company currently operating 11 facilities nationwide.

These are snapshots of just a few of Reidsville’s manufacturers and industries.  Other smaller industries and businesses have found Reidsville to be an ideal location for making their products.

Manufacturing Week: Spotlight on Mayodan, NC’s Industries

The Town of Mayodan was built around industry having developed due to the railroad and textile industry.  Mayodan’s manufacturing and industrial base is diverse today but textiles still account for the highest number of jobs.

One of the world’s largest yarn spinners, Frontier Spinning Mills, operates two manufacturing plants in Mayodan and is the town’s largest employer.  The company produces 100% cotton and cotton blend spun yarns for the knitting and weaving industries.  Frontier began operating in Rockingham County in 1992 and continues to flourish here, employing more than 500 people total between its two local plants.

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc.’s firearms manufacturing plant opened in Mayodan in 2013 and it was one of this area’s largest economic projects in decades.  Ruger is one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of high-quality firearms for the commercial sporting market, and a major producer of precision steel investment castings.  The company produces hundreds of thousands of firearms each year for hunting, target shooting, collecting, self-defense, law enforcement, and government agencies.  

Ruger’s Mayodan plant is its third manufacturing plant in the United States and is also home to Ruger Sportswear & Accessories.  The company refurbished a former textile manufacturing facility and currently has over 370 employees.  Ruger selected Mayodan and Rockingham County following a competitive site selection process between North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Florida.  It ultimately chose Rockingham County because of the available workforce here.

McMichael Mills is another textile company that has been successful in Rockingham County for nearly three decades.  The company was established in 1993 and it has manufacturing, distribution and headquarters operations in Mayodan.  McMichael Mills, which employs nearly 200 people, produces high-quality covered elastic yarns for uses in a variety of products such as the hosiery, narrow fabrics and medical markets.  The company’s innovative solutions, commitment to quality and competitive prices helped McMichael Mills endure through the years.  It is now an international leader in spun-stretch yarns and is the most sought after yarn converter in the business.  McMichael Mills’ two yarn plants produce over 500 different stretch yarns each year, which amounts to more than 20 million pounds of yarn.  The company serves customers worldwide and its yarn is used in more than 50 prominent brands in products such as socks, orthopedic and compression stockings, airline tags, and athletic shoes. 

Bridgestone Aircraft Tire USA moved its retreading operations to Mayodan in 2007 from Miami, Florida.  The company was attracted to the area because of the advantages in having a readily available workforce, proximity to major customers and transportation corridors, and an available manufacturing building.  The Mayodan facility is Bridgestone Aircraft Tire’s headquarters for its North America division, which is part of the global Bridgestone Corporation based in Japan.  With a team of about 100 full-time employees, the company retreads tires for commercial aircraft in its 160,000 square foot facility in Mayodan. 

Mayodan is also home to a plastics company, Blow-Molded Solutions.  The homegrown company, which opened in 2010, has approximately 80 employees.  By 2016, Blow Molded announced a $2.4 million expansion that included a 20,000 square-foot-addition to double its manufacturing facility.  Blow Molded provides large blow molded plastic parts for the recreation, consumer, industrial, and large truck markets. 

Sutherland Products Inc.is a homegrown, family company based in Mayodan that manufactures the Charlie’s Soap brand of cleaning productsFounded by Charlie Sutherland, Jr., the company has been in business for over 40 years and its original Charlie’s Soap industrial cleaner was developed to clean machines in the local textile mills.

When the textile mills moved overseas, the second generation of Sutherlands—Charlie’s sons Taylor, James and Morgan—restructured and grew the business beyond industrial cleaning.  In 2002, Charlie’s sons took over, launched the Laundry Powder, rebranded the company and its products, and modernized operations.  Using the same basic formula, which is all natural, environmentally safe and hypoallergenic, Charlie’s Soap now includes a full line of cleaning products from laundry detergent, all-purpose cleaners, indoor/outdoor cleaner, and more.  Since then, Sutherland Products has enjoyed an average 25% growth year over year and its laundry powder has been a top seller on Amazon.  The company sells products online as well as through thousands of brick and mortar locations in all 50 states and 50 countries. 

In 2016, Sutherland Products completed a major expansion with the purchase of second, 120,000 square-foot facility in Stoneville.  The company invested over one million dollars in the Stoneville location, which houses the corporate offices and distribution center.  The manufacturing remains in Mayodan. It’s still a family-run business with about 20 employees.

Manufacturing Week: Meet Madison, NC’s Top Manufacturers/Industries

Just like most rural, southern towns, Madison, NC’s manufacturing heritage is rooted in tobacco and textiles.  In fact, Madison was home to upwards of 40 tobacco plants in the late 1800s making it the largest tobacco manufacturing center in the world at that time.  Today, the quaint town of about 2,100 residents boasts a diverse mix of large industries, small businesses, and homegrown retail shops and eateries.

Madison’s largest manufacturer and Rockingham County’s largest manufacturing employer is Unifi.  The company’s Madison plant was established in 1970 by two local businessmen as Macfield Texturing Company.   Unifi purchased that company in 1991 and currently has about 500 employees in Madison and 225 at a second plant in Reidsville.  A world leading producer and processor of multi-filament polyester and nylon textured yarns, Unifi’s facility in Madison produces textured and covered yarn used in premier product lines for customers like Ford, The North Face and more.  Totaling 946,586 square-feet, the Madison plant houses Nylon Drawn Textured Yarn, Single, Double and Air Covered product lines. This plant also features an innovative Sock and Hosiery Lab. 

The nation’s largest supplier of brick pavers, Pine Hall Brick, operates two manufacturing facilities in Madison.  The company has been a leading manufacturer of face-brick, pavers and specially shaped brick since 1922.  Headquartered in Winston-Salem, NC, Pine Hall Brick maintains about 160 employees in Madison.  It opened the brick plant in Madison in 1970.  The company expanded in Madison in 1996 when it opened the paver plant.  At that time, the fully-automated, state-of-the-art paver plant was the only plant in the country dedicated entirely to the production of clay pavers.  Pine Hall Brick has since opened a second paver plant in Georgia to meet consumer demand.  Consider using Pine Hall Brick pavers in your next backyard project.

Remington Arms Company, LLC moved its corporate headquarters to the Madison area in 1996.  America’s oldest gun maker, Remington designs, produces and sells sporting goods products for the hunting and shooting sports markets, as well as military, government and law enforcement markets. While Remington does not manufacture any products in Madison, its corporate office provides about 150 jobs in the community making it a major employer.   

Synergy Electronics Recycling is a cutting-edge electronics recycling firm located in Madison.   With approximately 80 employees, the company provides shredding and mechanical separating of used electronic equipment into commodity grade components. Synergy opened in Madison in 2000 and also provides other services such as demanufacturingasset recoverycertified data destruction of sensitive media, and transportation services for the materials it handles.   The company works with various industries such as healthcare, finance, education and manufacturing as well as county and municipal collection programs.

Located in downtown Madison, Gem-Dandy is a wholesale distributor of belts and accessories servicing retailers across the globe.  The Penn Family started Gem-Dandy in 1921 as a successor to the Penn Suspender Company. Green Penn, the first company president, invented and patented the GEMCO Adjustable Garter – the world’s first fully adjustable garter for men, women and children.

Gem-Dandy entered the belt business during World War II. The Danbury name was registered as a brand name in the 1970’s and sales expanded across the country into thousands of men’s specialty shops. Today, Gem-Dandy employs more than 40 people in Madison and distributes a wide variety of belts, wallets, suspenders and other accessories in dress, casual, work wear and western styles. The company is the licensor of several popular brands such as PGA Tour®, John Deere®, Roper®, Officially Licensed Collegiate Products®, Mossy Oak®, REALTREE® and Colours by Alexander Julian®. Gem Dandy also has its proprietary brands including Danbury Golf, Danbury Workwear, Lady Danbury, G-Bar-D Western Outfitters and Cowgirls Rock. The company’s products can be found in major department stores as well as smaller venues.  Look for these licensed products in retail stores to support Gem Dandy.

It’s no secret that bootleggers once ran the backroads of this area, but today, two legal distilleries have found a home for manufacturing their spirits in Madison.  When it opened in Madison in 2005, Piedmont Distillers Inc.became NC’s first legal distillery since prohibition.  It has spent the last decade innovating a family of spirits that includes Catdaddy Spiced Moonshine, Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moonshine and Method and Standard vodka. The company currently has about 20 employees in Madison.

Catdaddy Spiced Moonshine is a spicy yet sweet old-fashioned spirit blended in a small batch process.  Piedmont’s line of NASCAR legend Junior Johnson’s (a.k.a. “the midnight runner”) brand of ‘shine is available in original recipe, 100 proof and in seven, handcrafted, real fruit infusions.  The Midnight Moon brand also includes an American whiskey.  Method + Standard is an NC distilled vodka that is available in original, strawberry, apple spice and raspberry flavors.   The company’s spirits can be found in ABC stores throughout the United States and is sold worldwide.

Midnight Moon Family

Also in Madison, Italian-themed GIA Distillery produces its handcrafted solera style American whiskey and grappa in the old train depot (circa 1895) that houses its distillery and tasting room.  GIA is a small boutique distillery and one of the owners grew up in Sicily while the other hails from Asheville, NC.  Both have been making wine and beer for at least 40 years and have parlayed that experience now into distilling where they’re able to add that hand-crafted touch.  GIA currently makes FJW Solera Style American Whiskey crafted using a technique that originates in Spain, consisting of stacking barrels and only drawing a portion from the bottom barrels for bottling.  This is a fairly new technique for aging in the U.S. and because of the labor involved, is not seen by the larger producers.

GIA also makes a grappa (an Italian style brandy) called Francesca, named after the wife of one of the owners.  The grappa is made the old fashioned Italian way that utilizes the entire grape for production.  The grappa is then rested in French Oak, which combined with the juice of the grape, provides a smoothness not found in most Italian grappas.  Visit their website for information about tastings and tours: www.giadistillery.com

Manufacturing Week: Meet Eden, NC’s Top Manufacturers/Industries

Friday, October 4th is “Manufacturing Day” across the U.S. and in Rockingham County.  To celebrate, we will be highlighting some of the major manufacturers/industries in each of our municipalities each day this week.  Today, we start with the City of Eden, North Carolina.

With more than 500 employees, Eden’s largest industrial employer is Gildan.  With global headquarters in Montreal, Canada, The company is the leading supplier of activewear for the screenprint market in the U.S. and Canada.  It has been operating a wholesale distribution facility in Eden since 2000.  The distribution center, located on Meadow Road in Eden, is primarily dedicated to servicing the screen print channel in the United States. The company has expanded four times since opening, and it now encompasses 1.2 million square feet at the Meadow Road facility, plus an additional 900,000 square feet at two satellite locations in Eden. The products distributed from the Eden facility include tee shirts, sport shirts and fleece that are sold in large quantities to wholesale distributors as undecorated “blanks”, which are subsequently decorated by screen printers with designs and logos.   Consumers can support Gildan by looking for the company’s label when purchasing tee shirts and fleece.

Did you know body armor worn by some of our U.S. military personnel is made in Eden?  KDH Defense Systems is a leading manufacturer of American-made, high-performance protective solutions.  Founded in 2003, KDH began with a mission to provide law enforcement, federal agencies, and the United States Department of Homeland Security with the highest quality American-made body armor available in today’s continually evolving protective apparel market.  With around 150 employees, KDH’s Eden facility includes armor cutting, sewing, and ballistic design, as well as product development, sales, and administration. The company chose to locate its production and headquarters in Rockingham County because of the available manufacturing space in a vacant building and access to skilled textile workers due to the region’s rich history in the textile industry.

Eden’s oldest manufacturer is Karastan, a division of Mohawk Industries.  The company has been operating its rug/carpet manufacturing plant here since 1928.  Karastan’s story as an innovator dates back to the 1920s when its “wonder rug” first amazed visitors at two World’s Fairs.  While the company is phasing out production of its iconic machine-made oriental rugs at the Eden plant, it still remains a vital industry to Rockingham County with around 200 full-time employees.  Now a division of Mohawk Industries, Karastan has continued as an innovator, implementing new technology to refine its manufacturing process and investing in equipment in the Eden plant to manufacture high-end commercial, aviation and residential carpet.  To support Karastan, consider purchasing the company’s carpet for your home or office.

AC Furniture has approximately 200 employees in Eden and is one of the country’s largest contract manufacturers of seating for the hospitality, healthcare and food service industry.  Headquartered in Axton, Virginia, the company opened its Eden facility since 1979 where it makes wood and upholstered seating for commercial use such as in restaurants, hotels and medical offices.

Loparex is a leading, global manufacturer of polycoated and silicone-coated papers and films that are used in a wide variety of adhesive applications.  It has had a manufacturing plant on Fieldcrest Road in Eden since 1995 and employs around 120 people.  Often known as the slick paper that is thrown away on numerous adhesives, Loparex’s extensive product line has been designed to meet the varying needs in the medical, hygiene, graphic arts, label and tapes industries and in other special industries and applications.  The company’s products are critical components of many medical supplies and devices, including backings for heart-monitor electrode pads and transdermal patches that deliver medicine through the skin. Loparex products and processes also are used in the automotive industry; for turbine propellers that generate wind power; and precise die-cutting used in mobile phones and digital cameras.  So the next time you peel the backing off of a Band-Aid or double-sided tape, remember that paper you throw away was probably made in Eden, NC.

Weil-McLain, a leading manufacturer of hydronic comfort heating systems for residential, commercial and institutional use, located a manufacturing and distribution plant in Eden in 2005. Weil-McLain’s hydronic boilers are installed in homes, offices, schools, restaurants, hotels and other facilities throughout North America.  Headquartered in Michigan City, IN, the company has more than 150 employees in Eden and its local facility also serves as a showroom and training facility for contractors and distributors.