A textile company considering bringing “hundreds and hundreds” of jobs to the Fayetteville area wants more feedback from potential workers.
Robert Van Geons, the president of the Fayetteville Cumberland Economic Development Corp., said Friday this feedback is crucial for luring the company. So the deadline for potential workers to fill out an online “workforce interest survey” has been extended to Sept. 21.
The survey is presented in English at jobsfayetteville.com and in Spanish at fayettevilleworks.com.
The survey was launched about three weeks ago and originally concluded Aug. 24.
The company, whose name Van Geon is not publicly disclosing, is considering several communities for its plant. The number of interested workers is a factor in its decision, he said on Friday.
Of more than survey 800 respondents so far, 736 asked to be contacted when the jobs come available, Van Geons said.
The survey has shown that 171 people have experience in the textiles industry, he said. Experience in textiles is not required, and free training is to be provided should the company come here, the survey says.
The jobs would start at $10.50 per hour, Van Geons said, with opportunities to earn overtime and bonus pay. He said the company plans to offer paid time off and a company-supported retirement plan. It would pay at least 50 percent of the cost of individual and family medical insurance premiums.
He said the plant could require 75,000 square feet, and he estimated it at $10 million.
The textiles industry was once a leading employer in small cities and rural areas around North Carolina. But in recent decades, many factories closed as manufacturers pursued lower-wage workers in other countries.
Industry experts said last month that trend is starting to reverse.
They said American-based plants, even with higher labor costs, can boost retailer profits by providing stores with high-demand merchandise more quickly than overseas plants can. A nearby plant can produce quantities more attuned to local demand, the experts said, which helps the retailers avoid getting stuck with large amounts of unsold products that have to be deeply discounted.