HanesBrands, a leading global marketer of everyday basic apparel, announced last week its plan to add jobs and expand the scope of production at its Clarksville, Arkansas sheer hosiery plant to replace offshore outsourcing.
The Clarksville plant is one of the biggest hosiery knitting facilities in the world with a workforce of approximately 450. The plant’s competitiveness 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.
Javier Chacon, Hanes senior vice president of global operations, said, “We are delighted to be able to add jobs at our Clarksville plant.” He added, “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.”
Plant manager Cathy Stalcup added, “I am so proud of this plant and our employees.” She continued, “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 an estimated yearly wage of $39,000 with benefits, a $4.7 million boost to the local economy each year. Hanes is expecting to spend an estimated $1.5 million to buy and install machinery, and relocate and upgrade its dyeing and packaging operations.
Arkansas Governor, Asa Hutchinson, stated “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.” He added, “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.”
Hanes manufactures the majority of its products at company-owned plants in its global supply chain, unlike most apparel companies. Hanes knits all of its sheer hosiery in Clarksville, sews the seams for the knit hosiery in Clarksville and a company-owned facility in El Salvador, and finishes and packages hosiery in Clarksville for mass retailers and an offshore contractor for department stores.
Mirah Jones, a 13-year Hanes Clarksville employee, explained, “I have seen many changes over the years, which has resulted in amazing opportunities for me personally and for others.” She continued, “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.”
Over the past decade, the plant has added new work and capabilities, today even making seamless knit bras such as the Bali Comfort Revolution seamless bras. Over 85 percent of the plant’s employees have at least 10 years of service with the company.
Clarksville Mayor Mark Simpson stated, “HanesBrands has been an outstanding corporate citizen in our community for so many years, and this expansion will help the well-being of our community and contribute to continued long-term steady growth.” He concluded, “It’s with great honor that we continue to partner with HanesBrands.”