HAMLET — Vice President of Therafirm Ken Hartley wants people to know the textile industry is alive and well in Richmond County thanks to technology, automation and customized training provided by Richmond Community College.
“Therafirm has experienced tremendous growth over the past 10 plus years, and RichmondCC has been instrumental in training our employees to become high level technicians to work in this state-of-the-art manufacturing company,” Hartley said. “This is the formula for success in the 21st Century textile industry.”
When other textile companies were going offshore, Therafirm remained committed to investing in the community and creating jobs in Richmond County, first in Ellerbe and then in Hamlet. Therafirm completed renovation of the Hamlet manufacturing facility in 2013 and created more than 50 jobs during that time.
“Therafirm was faced with a challenge in developing a talented workforce, without the advantage of an experienced workforce that was needed to support this growth,” Hartley said. “RichmondCC’s customized training program provided assistance to develop the next era of medical textile employees. Without the partnership with RichmondCC, the ability to attract, train and retrain the employees to fill the additional jobs would not have been possible.”
Since the opening of the new facility in Hamlet, RichmondCC has provided Therafirm with over $23,000 in customized training, which has been funded using resources through the N.C. Community College System. The most recent proposal for customized training has provided over $50,000 in savings for Therafirm by getting employees up to speed on new equipment that will make the company more self-sufficient and increase productivity.
“By blending textiles and 21st Century technology, Therafirm has proven to be a world class manufacturer putting out a world class product,” said Dr. Dale McInnis, president of RichmondCC. “The College will continue to find ways to support Therafirm’s growth and prosperity so it can continue to be a committed partner to the people of this community.”
For over 50 years, Therafirm has been a leader in manufacturing healthy, gradient compression hosiery. Knit-Rite, Inc. purchased Therafirm in 2000 and has re-invented the brand and product with updated colors, new styles and high quality standards. Therafirm has evolved under new ownership through innovation, adding four new lines of product since 2000 including Core-Spun, TherafirmLight, Preggers and GOGO. With roots in the medical field, all products are developed with the consumer’s health as a priority.