The historic Cone Denim White Oak plant will be closing down after more than a century of operation in the Gate City, according to a Wednesday announcement.
But it's not just the end of an era for the facility; it also means roughly 200 employees could lose their jobs or be relocated to a mill elsewhere.
Cone Denim's White Oak plant has been in operation for 110 years, even as the company faced an uncertain financial future. Its parent corporation, International Textile Group, was sold to a private equity firm last year.
In a press release, ITG said the announcement is due to market changes that reduced demand for its product.
Kenneth T. Kunberger, President & CEO of ITG, said “We truly regret having to take this action to close operations, and we deeply appreciate the loyalty and dedication of all current and former employees of the White Oak Plant. Their talent, effort, innovation, dedication, and customer focus all combined to create a White Oak brand, heritage, and legacy that will forever be the heart of the Cone Denim business.” Kunberger continued, “We would also like to thank the City of Greensboro for its strong support over the years for both our White Oak facility as well as our ITG corporate headquarters. We are proud to call Greensboro our home.”
After the announcement, Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan said city leaders were saddened by the closure, and that they would offer support to displaced employees.
The company says it will work with the affected employees to provide them with transition services, as well as possible opportunities elsewhere in ITG and other local companies.
Operations at White Oak Plant are expected to be fully closed by the end of the year.