June 18, 2002

Ellen Qualls
(804) 786-2211, x2379

Merrill Brown
Narroflex, Inc.
(276) 694-7171
Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Narroflex Expands In Patrick County
-Governor Warner announces 245 existing jobs saved, 205 new jobs created-

RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that Narroflex, Inc. will expand its existing textile facility in Patrick County. The company’s decision to stay in Virginia and increase its production capacity will save 245 existing jobs and create 205 new jobs through a $9 million investment. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina for the project.

“Patrick County has needed some good job news for a long time,” said Governor Warner. “Narroflex’s decision to remain in Virginia and expand will significantly offset a portion of the recent job losses in Patrick County and benefit the entire region. This expansion emphasizes that a skilled work force adds a tremendous amount of value in corporate decision-making.”

Narroflex, Inc., a subsidiary of Wentworth Textiles, Inc., is a multinational textile
manufacturer headquartered in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada. The company, which operates existing plants in Stoney Creek and in Graham, NC, acquired the narrow fabrics division of the former Elastic Fabrics of America, which operated an existing plant in Patrick County. Narroflex will manufacture elastic products primarily used in undergarments. To accommodate the expansion of its production capacity in Patrick County, Narroflex plans to make substantial
renovations to the facility.

“We have achieved the best result for Narroflex and for Patrick County. We will now be able to modify the existing building in order to update the manufacturing process to an efficient lay-out, and in turn keep the current employee base, which has tremendous value to us,” said Ken Saeckl, Narroflex Vice President of Finance & Administration. “Also, the availability of experienced textile employees to fill the positions which will arise from our expansion is another key advantage to staying in Patrick County and Virginia.”

Governor Warner approved a $200,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Patrick County with the project. The county also obtained $200,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds to assist with the expansion. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Patrick County, and the Town of Stuart assisted Narroflex, Inc. with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide additional workforce training services.


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