A California-based textile manufacturer is coming to Lee County, bringing 160 jobs and an investment of $2 million, the Sanford Area Growth Alliance announced Wednesday.
Through6 will phase in its operations at the former Static Control building at 908 J R Industrial Drive, according to a SAGA news release. The company is leasing the 52,000-square-foot building and is doing the upfitting work, said Bob Joyce, SAGA’s director of Economic Development.
The jobs at the Sanford facility include technologists to printing and sewing operators. Warehouse personnel hiring is beginning immediately for a late-summer opening, the release said. Among current job listing at its California location are sublimation press operators, warehouse workers, production associates and customer relations.
Applicants are encouraged to submit a resume via email at ncjobs@through6.
No incentive package was offered to the company — which opened in 2014 and is headquartered in Los Angeles suburb of Garden Grove — for two reasons, Joyce said.
“This project moved too quickly to work out incentives. Our incentive policy requires that a project has to be competitive in other states and areas,” he said. “This was moving so quickly. They identified central North Carolina and Sanford quickly and we didn’t have time to work out an incentive package.
“They were in a hurry-up mode,” Joyce said. “The business is very, very good right now.”
The second is that one of the criteria for an incentive package is that the company’s pay is at or above Lee County’s average wage, which is between $40,000 and $42,000, according to Joyce.
Because no incentive package was offered, there was no need to get approval from the Lee County commissioners or Sanford City Council, Joyce said.
Through6 is a cut-and-sew operation and supplies online retailers such as Amazon and Wayfair, he continued. When an order is placed for, perhaps, an extra-small blouse with a certain design, it is produced once the order is received.
It allows designers to be inventory-free, Joyce said, calling it “fast fashion.”
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Through6 converted some of its machines in order to produce much-needed personal protective equipment. Those items will not be produced in Lee County, he said.
The company’s officials began looking for a location and paid a first visit to Sanford on Jan. 27, according to Joyce. They returned for a second visit in March, spending time in the community and meeting several employers and Central Carolina Community College leaders.
They began searching for a building, found one and negotiated a lease, Joyce said.
“We are proud to announce a fourth major economic development project in less than 12 months, and glad that a well-established California-based company recognizes the strategic advances of siting their first East Coast expansion in Sanford,” Kirk Bradley, chair of SAGA’s board of directors, said in a news release.
“Given the textile prominence in North Carolina, we’re incredibly excited to attract some great local talent and increase Through6’s production output to better serve our customers,” Carlos Goncalves, Through6 CEO, said in the release.
County commission Chair Amy Dalrymple and Sanford Mayor Chet Mann said they, too, are excited.
“We are proud to be the first U.S. location outside of California for Thought6, a 100% Made in America manufacturer,” Dalrymple said.
“We are glad you have chosen Sanford as home.”
Reach Assistant Editor Nancy McCleary at 919-718-1219.