Parkdale Mills hosted Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) at the company’s Magnolia Manufacturing plant in Virginia Wednesday to showcase the critical role the Hillsville company and the industry has played in producing lifesaving personal protective equipment (PPE) to aid frontline health-care workers and the country during the pandemic.
Parkdale’s facility is a key yarn spinning hub contributing to a major face mask initiative that brought together several U.S. companies and more than 5,000 workers as part of the Biden administration’s pledge to provide 25 million reusable face masks to communities hit hard by the pandemic.
The Biden administration awarded contracts to Parkdale Mills and New York’s Ferrara Manufacturing Inc., both members of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), following through on the president’s pledge to procure millions of fully Made in America face masks for community health centers, food pantries and soup kitchens across the country.
“Parkdale Mills thanks Sen. Kaine for his leadership on policies that help bolster our company and the entire textile industry,” Davis Warlick, executive vice president of Parkdale Mills, said. “We are proud to be part of an initiative that is bringing together American companies to produce 100 percent American-made masks for community health centers, soup kitchens and food banks across the country. With the support of our government and leaders like Sen. Kaine, our industry is demonstrating its ability and capacity to make critical items here for the long term.”
The U.S. textile industry has produced more than 1 billion lifesaving PPE and other medical products over the past year, according to NCTO. Since the spring of 2020 at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic on U.S. shores, both Ferrara and Parkdale have retooled their production chains to help produce millions of masks and gowns to help workers on the frontlines.
“We want to sincerely thank Sen. Kaine for his leadership in supporting American manufacturers, which have played a vital role in our economy as well as the nationwide effort to produce critical PPE and medical textiles for a nation in crisis,” Kim Glas, president and CEO of NCTO, said. “We are grateful to the senator and the Biden administration for prioritizing domestic manufacturers and the U.S. workforce. The U.S. textile industry is a vital contributor to the U.S economy and policies that Sen. Kaine supports help bolster the onshoring of PPE and critical items, which in turn spurs employment and investment in the American manufacturing base.”
NCTO is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers. In 2020, U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 530,000. The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $64.4 billion in 2020, with U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel $25.4 billion.