By Kaylee Lindenmuth
FRACKVILLE - Announced today by Reading, Berks County based Elbeco Inc. was the purchase of a Missouri manufacturing plant, and the closure of City Shirt, Frackville.
Elbeco announced the agreement of sale with Brookfield, Missouri based Stanbury Uniform to purchase their Warsaw (MO) Manufacturing Facility. As a result, the company will close their Frackville facility in December.
According to a media release, the inability to attract workers to replace retired and retiring skilled sewers resulting in decreasing production and efficiencies at its City Shirt facility was cited as the main reason for the decision.
“Over the past few years, the facilities have experienced the loss of our skilled sewers, primarily through retirement. Our aggressive efforts to hire and train new employees have been insufficient.” said David Lurio, President of Elbeco. “These factors have resulted in the decision that we are announcing today."
Both facilities employ a combined labor force of 119, with approximately 60 sewers, and all production employees are represented by the Workers United! labor union.
The company plans to work with the union and its employees to provide severances and support and to obtain federal funding for job training.
“This is a very sad time for me personally, as I have known many of the employees at these facilities, some working over 30 years for the company," added Lurio. "Unfortunately, this type of action has been all too frequent in our industry over the past few decades”.
The company plans to consolidate its plants’ support operations into its Berks County-based facilities and move production into its U.S. based manufacturing partner facilities.
Elbeco manufactures and wholesales branded uniforms for a variety of public service sectors, including law enforcement, corrections, fire service, transportation, emergency medical, security, and the US Postal Service.
Stanbury Uniforms, Inc. of Brookfield, MO, has produced uniforms for the marching arts for over 100 years.