For Struggling Textile Industry, Good Things Come In Small Sizes

10:28 PM, Sep 7, 2010   |    comments
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Triad, NC -- A struggling Triad industry could find some saving grace in small sources.

Bekaert Textiles Group is one company taking advantage of nanotechnology. The manufacturer combines tiny particles with fabrics to make them softer, stain-resistant, and even make them kill bacteria.

"It will help us stay on the leading edge, and be able to react quicker to customers' demands for new innovative products," said Brandon Wells, the company's marketing vice-president.

Bekaert said he worked for Burlington Industries until it went under in the early 2000s, now he's been at Bekaert 14 years.

He said the Triad's biggest competition is cheaper overseas production but nanotechnology makes his company more competitive in the products it offers.

"If we can keep our finger on the pulse locally and then turn things around fast for our consumer, we'll have an advantage in gaining the business over foreign competition," said Wells.

It's about transforming the textile industry, according to David Carroll. He's director at the Center for Nanotechnology of Wake Forest University.

Carroll said rather than seeing lots of people at looms, you can expect to see more manufacturing companies with fewer, higher-paying jobs.

He also says spin-offs could include packaging, shipping, and other businesses that spring up as an indirect result of nanotechnology taking hold in the Triad.

Bekaert has hired more than 70 positions this past year, with a total of about 200 employees. The company currently has openings for maintenance workers and cloth inspectors.

You can apply in person at 240 Business Park Drive in Winston-Salem.

WFMY News 2

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