Industry Today

systems. While some operations are gradually phasing in, full completion of the project is expected by early 2023. In a recent press release, Bockoven com- ments, “We are excited about the continuing growth of our facility which is now even better positioned to serve the needs of the American textile industry. We also are proud to be part of the wider effort to reshore jobs and bring textile manufacturing back to the USA. We thank the state of South Carolina as well as Darlington County for their unwavering support.” Core Values Bockoven emphasizes that the success of Fiber Industries in reclaiming a leading position in American textile manufacturing is under- pinned by its basic core values. “We believe people are our most important asset and team- work is the foundation of our culture. Part of our family-based values is to contribute to the community that supports us with various fund- raising and local volunteer events. We create the highest quality, sustainable products for customers while operating safely and reliably to improve our environment as a leader in the polyester textile industry.” Fiber Industries continues the long American tradition of textile manufacturing in South Carolina, focusing on polyester staple fibers. into its Wellman Palmetto Plant, the rejuvenat- ed facility comprises 1.1 million square feet of total building space on 765 acres with low-cost rail infrastructure on site. The company cur- rently employs about 300 textile professionals.. Bockoven notes that while automation is employed through various process control and enterprise systems, skilled labor remains an important ingredient. “Like every other man- ufacturer, we are dealing with the problem of finding the talent we need. We’re working with the South Carolina Department of Commerce to incentivize workforce readiness. In addition, we’re working with local community colleges and technical schools, and even the high school system, to develop internship programs.” Fiber Industries recently announced a $30 million facility expansion expected to cre- ate 50 additional jobs, for which the South Carolina Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits. The council also awarded Darlington County a $300,000 Rural Infrastructure grant to assist with the building improvements. The expansion increases plant capacity and modernizes production lines, as well as adding warehouse space and state-of-the-art control Pictured left: Fiber Lab team members run routine lab tests that are performed to verify process stability for viscosity, additives, finish, crimping properties, and many more; above: Team member metering pump change. INDUSTRY TODAY 9 8 INDUSTRY TODAY PROFILE | FIBER INDUSTRIES FIBER INDUSTRIES | PROFILE