January 21, 2004

Ellen Qualls
(804) 786-2211, x2379

James Woodruff
Franklin Braid
(434) 634-4142
Jill Vaughan
(804) 371-0049
-Governor Warner announces textile company’s expansion, 25 new jobs-

RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that Franklin Braid will expand its operations in the City of Emporia. Through a $1.5-million investment, the project will create 25 new jobs at the company’s existing facility on Davis Street. Virginia successfully competed with Pennsylvania for the project.

“I am pleased to announce that Franklin Braid is reinvesting in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Warner. “This great company will create additional job opportunities for the people of Emporia and surrounding communities.”

Franklin Braid manufactures braided and knitted narrow fabrics, cordage and trims. Franklin’s products are sold to other manufacturers as components for their product lines. The company moved from Franklin, Virginia to Emporia in 1956. Since locating in Emporia, Franklin Braid has expanded five times. In 1980, Franklin Braid became a wholly owned subsidiary of Wayne Industries. Presently, the company has 2,000 braiding machines and employs 130 workers at peak production time.

Wayne Industries is closing its elastic plant in Rhode Island and moving part of this operation to Emporia. The products to be manufactured in Emporia will be knit elastic produced on flat bed knitting machines. These products go into garments, furniture, face masks and many other items.

“We are very pleased with the assistance offered by the Commonwealth of Virginia and the City of Emporia in being able to expand our local facilities,” said James Woodruff, President of Franklin Braid.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Emporia-Greensville Industrial Development Corporation, the Emporia Industrial Development Authority and the City of Emporia assisted Franklin Braid with its decision. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $75,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds to assist the City of Emporia with the project. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.

“Franklin Braid has been an important employer in our community for many years,” said Emporia Mayor Sam Adams. “We appreciate Franklin Braid’s vote of confidence in the productivity and skills of our local workforce.”


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