Johnston Textiles plans to shut down its weaving factory in the small Alabama town of Opp, moving the 120 jobs there to its plant on Colin Powell Parkway in Phenix City, the company said today.
“We’ve already got plenty of space in this facility, and this will allow us to use some of the vacant space that we have right now,” said Don Kraft, corporate controller for the textile manufacturer, which will have 220 people on its payroll by the time the move is completed next summer.
The company said Birch Brown, Johnston’s president and chief executive officer, has promised the workers at the Micolaus mill in Opp that they will have first-option to relocate to the Phenix City factory.
“Once we move everything out, that facility would be available for sale,” said Kraft, noting the Opp employees were notified today of the closure.
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Opp is a community of about 6,600 residents about 135 miles from Phenix City and west of the regional hub of Dothan, Ala.
Johnston Textiles has been consolidating its various operations over the last two years. In 2008, it moved its finishing operation and about 40 jobs from the Shawmut Mill in Valley, Ala., to Phenix City. Last year, eight employees with an testing lab were relocated here from Valley.
The company said the current move came out of its recently approved five-year business model and is geared toward “future growth and modernization.”
The textile manufacturer’s decorative and technical fabrics go into ulpholstery, wall coverings, table cloths and napkins, work uniforms, privacy curtains used in hospitals and nursing homes, and industrial V-belts.