Greater demand drives growth, expansion at Frontier Spinning
Frontier Spinning Mills's recent $12 million expansion — which includes 50,000 additional square feet to one of its Sanford manufacturing plants and 24 new jobs — is one indicator of an improving economy, according to local industry leaders.
Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce President Bob Joyce said he hopes this is one of many future expansions within Lee County's industrial base.
"This is great news," he said. "… The bright spot in North Carolina's economy is existing industry expansion, so it is really satisfying and exciting to see how our local industries are responding to the improvement in the economy by adding jobs."
Frontier's Executive Vice President John Maness said the the move was designed to meet a growing market for the company's 100-percent cotton and polyester-cotton yarns. He added that the Sanford-based Frontier is the nation's second-largest producer of spun yarns, and its yarn is used in clothing, sheeting, duct tape and cotton gauze, among other items.
"We've seen a steady increase in demand, so we took the opportunity to grow with our customers," Maness said in a statement released Thursday. "The expansion was completed early this month, and we're now in full operation."
Lee County Economic Development Interim Director Crystal Morphis said all economic sectors are, in general, improving.
"Frontier's product goes into products that consumers will eventually purchase," she said, adding that consumers are buying more products as the economy improves.
Lee County Commissioner Chairman Charlie Parks called Frontier a blessing to the Lee County community.
"It's amazing they have been able to keep going when other textiles have closed down," he said. "They've invested greatly in the community. They really are a blessing."
Frontier operates two manufacturing plants in Sanford, two in Mayodan and one in Wetumpka, Ala.