Woodland Mills plant closing

Published 5:42 pm Tuesday, March 2, 2010

About 10 years after it began production in Polk County, the Woodland Mills plant in Mill Spring is shutting down.
The textile plant, which employed approximately 80 workers recently, began operation in the county in 2000 with about 120 employees. Employees were notified of the plant closure reportedly on Friday.
The manufacturing building is in foreclosure currently, and Woodland Mills owes $45,350.23 to Polk County in property taxes.
“Polk County doesnt like to see any industry within the county closed,” said Polk County Manager Ryan Whitson. “The jobs will be missed.”
The county offered incentives in 2000 to attract Woodland Mills to the old Stonecutter plant, which was created in 1965. The value of the incentives were tied to the number of jobs created.
Woodland Mills invested approximately $33 million to buy the Mill Spring property and prepare the building for its production. The company spent several months refurbishing and equipping the plant, which produced spun yarns.
The plant was highly automated and set up to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The company temporarily cut staff in 2007 down to about 57 employees, and planned to restore staff to about 105 when business conditions improved.
When it opened, Woodland Mills was tied with Grover Industries of Lynn as the countys second largest manufacturer behind Milliken & Co., according to the N.C. Department of Commerce.
Grover closed its Lynn plant in October of 2008, citing a loss of business to overseas competition. The building remains vacant today, and the countys economic development office is working to find a new owner.

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