Unfortunately for the textile company, it’s only now that hotel stays and continental breakfasts are back in vogue after a year of quarantine that these satins are seeing their usual rounds of occupants.
Fortunately for hospitals crying out for PPE last year, however, Standard Textile had also developed a foothold in the health care market too.
Last March, the Union advanced manufacturing facility at 100 Highpoint Drive began transforming existing sheeting substrates into a barrier fabric used in liquid-resistant garments that health care providers and first responders can wear while taking care of patients with COVID-19, according to a news release.
The Carolina team received approval on March 19, 2020, — six days after the Palmetto State announced a state of emergency — from the company’s Cincinnati lab after they developed and trialed the chemical compounds needed for the fabric.
“With American-based manufacturing operations and a local rapid prototyping and innovation center, we are uniquely positioned to leverage our extensive technical expertise and facilities to urgently provide needed personal protective equipment,” Richard Holbert, director of development of Standard Textile, said in the news release.
In less than two months, the company created 1.2 million yards of the fabric and also launched an assembly line for thousands of face shields.
A year out, Union facility’s investment has only snowballed as other hospitality-linked manufacturers wavered.
The company on Tuesday announced its plans to invest more than $15 million in its South Carolina site, an investment expected to create 45 jobs in the region.
“In addition to meeting growing demand, this expansion allows us to create a state-of-the-art rapid prototyping center for the development of innovative products and a showroom to share the company’s innovation history and unique products,” Standard Textile’s Chief Operating and Finance Officer Bradley Fry said in the announcement. “We are grateful for the partnership we have with the S.C. Department of Commerce and with Union County and for their commitment to helping innovative companies thrive in the region.”
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to this project and awarded Union County a $400,000 Rural Infrastructure Fund grant to assist with related project costs.
“We are proud to partner with Standard Textile as they continue to grow and provide tremendous career opportunities for Union County citizens,” Union County Supervisor Frank Hart said in the release. “This expansion is another testament to the fact that Union County is a great place to locate and grow your business.”
The company, founded in 1940, expects the expansion to be completed in October.
“South Carolina’s textile industry has a very rich history, and this sector continues to provide jobs and investment throughout our state,” Gov. Henry McMaster said in the release. “We’re proud of Standard Textile’s growth within our borders and we’re excited to see their continued success.”