The American Cotton Growers (ACG) denim mill in Littlefield, Texas, closed its doors for good on Tuesday. The plant, established in 1975, was Littlefield’s largest private employer.
In a statement, ACG said, “American Cotton Growers truly regrets that the downsizing of the Littlefield, TX Facility is necessary. We deeply appreciate the loyalty of our employees and of the local communities who have rallied for us over the last four decades. Our foremost concern is to help our workers find other employment. We will be working with the Texas Workforce Commission to provide various means of assistance to all of our employees throughout the transition process.”
Littlefield city manager Mike Arismendez told Everything Lubbuck, the closure is the largest loss of jobs the city has ever seen with 340 people left unemployed. Employees were notified about the closure 60 days ago.
He added, “There are a lot of unanswered questions that we have, but this community has rallied together, continued to be steadfast, and continued to work forward. And we will get there, and we will have the opportunities that we need to open up the plant again. So we are resilient, and we will bounce back.”
To help the former ACG workers, the South Plains Workforce Commission held a job fair in Littlefield on Wednesday, with over 30 businesses in attendance.
As part of the Plains Cotton Cooperative Association, which was purchased by New York-based private equity fund Monomoy Capital Partners and Kingsmoor LLC in June 2014, the Littlefield mill converted raw cotton into denim fabric. The denim was then converted into finished jeans at the Denimatrix cut, sew and laundry operation located in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
At the time of the purchase, Robert Fowler, a partner at Kingsmoor, said, “Denimatrix and ACG offer their customers unsurpassed quality, value and proximity in a denim manufacturing sector that is currently migrating from Asia to the Americas. With our partners at Monomoy, we will expand the company’s capabilities and work with our customers to bring fashion-forward products to market through the most efficient supply chain in the industry.”