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The job losses at Precision Fabrics Group in Vinton are not directly related to federal budget sequestration, plant manager says.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Precision Fabrics Group Inc. is eliminating the jobs of 30 people at its Vinton factory, citing a declining demand for its military products.
Plant manager Mike Maust said the company has sustained five consecutive quarters of double-digit-percentage losses in its military business, which includes manufacturing specialty fabrics for parachutes, apparel and industrial uses for the United States armed forces.
"We had to make a pretty tough decision about our staff level," Maust said. He said that the federal budget sequestration, which reduces military spending, did not play a role in the decision "per se, [but] just the whole military budget in general" affected the company's bottom line.
The Vinton plant employs about 200 people, he said. The privately held company is headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., and operates a plant there and another in Madison, Tenn.
The job losses will be in manufacturing. Maust would not give a timetable for the job cuts, other than to say they would be spread out over multiple days.
The company makes many synthetic fabrics for a wide array of products, which include surgical gowns, printing ribbons, flame-retardant protective apparel, specialty fabrics for hotel bedding, and other polyester and nylon woven products.
Maust said that despite the loss of military business, the company's other lines have potential for growth.
"I think it needs to be noted that we are disappointed in this setback," Maust said. "But we look at it as a temporary setback. We are optimistic about where we are going. It's just a tough break right now."
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