Woolrich Inc. announced that it will be closing its woolen mill in Woolrich, Pa. The fabric manufacturing operations will cease by the end of the year and will affect up to 40 employees in the mill. The mill opened in 1845 and is the oldest, continuously operated mill in the United States.
Woolrich said it will provide career transitional services for affected employees. Retirement and pension planning services also will be provided for those employees not seeking re-employment. These services include severance pay based on years of service, outplacement assistance including resume preparation, and interviewing skills, and job placement assistance with local employers. The company plans to work with state and federal dislocated worker agencies to provide additional benefits and services that may be available to employees.
“The decision to close the Mill was made following a comprehensive review of our overall woven fabric business and the considerable capital improvements needed to modernize and maintain viable operations. Unfortunately, due to higher manufacturing costs, eroding margins and continued unprofitability within the Mill, it is no longer economically feasible to continue our Pennsylvania based Woolen Mill operation,” said Nick Brayton, president of Woolrich Inc, in a statement.
“We are eternally grateful to all our employees for their years of dedication and loyalty to the company and our number one priority right now is to help affected employees through this transition,” Brayton added. “While this was a very difficult decision, our strategic approach to align our collections globally remains our primary focus and we are continuing the next stage of the globalization of the Woolrich brand.”
He continued: “While this was a very difficult decision, our strategic approach to align our collections globally remains our primary focus and we are continuing the next stage of the globalization of the Woolrich brand.”
The decision was made by Woolrich International, in concert with L-GAM Advisors, which bought Woolrich’s international and American operations in late September for an undisclosed price. Brayton, a small group of Woolrich family members and former employees maintain minority ownership.