Hanes Shrinks its Workforce

By the end of November, 260 Hanesbrands, Inc. employees at the company’s Lumberton, North Carolina textile facility will cease producing fabric for sport shirts and outerwear. Likewise, another 145 employees will halt production of sheer hosiery at the company’s Marion, South Carolina plant by February 2007.

These 405 skilled employees will be out of jobs after the company said it will move production from the two plants to lower-cost domestic, Caribbean basin, and Central American manufacturing facilities. In addition to those cuts, the company said it will close another plant in Mexico, eliminating 1,700 jobs there.??

“We regret that employees at these locations will lose jobs, but we must design and continually update our network to take advantage of lower-cost, more-effective production opportunities in order to remain competitive and generate growth that allows our overall organization to thrive,” executive vice president and chief global supply chain officer Gerald Evans said in a news release.?

One company’s regret could prove to serve as another company’s success, as these soon-to-be laid-off employees may be great candidates in a vast array of other fields, such as distribution, assembly, or general factory jobs within the area.

“Those textile factory-type jobs are relatively low-skilled production work. Generally, these folks would be able to transition very well into other light industrial jobs,” says Paul Holley, spokesperson for Manpower, Inc.

Location, Location, Location

In the case of the South Carolina factory, the city borders two other counties that are somewhat better-off economically, says Holley.

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“If those folks were willing to travel, there might be some employment opportunities,” he says.

Meanwhile, in North Carolina, a recent Manpower quarterly survey for over 450 markets is quite favorable for Fayetteville, the closest market to the Lumberton factory, with 30% of employers surveyed indicating they would be adding people; 3% said they would be cutting staff.

Manpower, according to Holley, looks at the “net employment outlook difference between additions and reductions.” The net was 27%, and that was pretty favorable, especially compared to the statewide average for the fourth quarter, at 19%.??

For Florence, the closest city to the affected factory in Marion, the net employment outlook was also 27%. “With 30% adding and 3% reducing, that is almost in line with the statewide average of 28%,” says Holley.

Hanesbrands, the manufacturer of brands such as Hanes, Champion, Playtex, and Just My Size, has approximately 50,000 employees in 24 countries.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.


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