King Charles Ind. to break ground in Lilesville this year

By: By Imari Scarbrough -

LILESVILLE— An upcoming textile plant should create more than 50 jobs in its first year, according to the company’s chairman.

King Charles Industries will add employment opportunities and implement more environmentally-healthy practices than Lilesville-based Hornwood, Inc. Horne said late last year. The plant is a joint venture between Hornwood and Taiwan’s Kingwhale Corp.

Chuck Horne, president of Hornwood and chairman of King Charles, said most of the new positions will be hourly manufacturing positions, though there will “a handful” of management and maintenance positions available, as well. He said the company expects to create 54 jobs in its first year and 46 in its second year. When announced by former Gov. Pat McCrory’s office last October, the company said it plans to hire 100 employees over three years for the $12.5 million plant.

Horne said a knitting facility in Candor in Montgomery County was also purchased on Oct. 14. It already had 32 employees and about 10 more positions will be added.

The new plant will “produce knit and tricot finished fabrics” for multiple brands, and “operations will include yarn texturizing, knitting, dyeing, fleecing, tumbling, finishing and inspection,” according to the press release.

King Charles Industries will be on Hornwood land.

“That was the primary reason we picked this site, because the water and sewer infrastructure and natural gas is here,” Horne said. “We looked at other sites, but the infrastructure wasn’t there.”

Company officials say the plant will use less water than Hornwood.

“It’ll use the conventional dyeing process, using water, but in our world, the lingo is called a liquor ratio,” Horne said. “With a low liquor ratio, you use less water than machines at Hornwood. It’s a textile term for gallons of water to pounds of fabric. These will be 7-1 and the current ones are 10-1.”

Horne said the plant will use county water. Calls to county manager Megan Garner about the affect the plant may have on the county’s water revenues were not returned.

“Anson County was extremely supportive of our effort,” he said. “There was a sewer grant involved to upgrade the pump station here and the county supported that, so they’ve been very supportive. When the process started, they did not have an economic developer, so we worked with South East Regional Partnership. Anson County is in the southeast region in terms of economic development. They were extremely helpful.”

The sewer grant went to the county. Another grant may be used after the plant is operation for a year.

“The One North Carolina Fund is a separate fund for job creation,” Horne said. “You tell [the N.C. Department of Commerce] how many jobs you’ll create and the timeframe to do it, then you have to do it within the three years you said. So if you said 54 jobs in 2017, you actually have three years to do it. There is no financial consideration until jobs are in place for a year and salaries are verified. It won’t receive funding until that point.”

Horne said the plant is a “standalone venture” and that although Hornwood is one of the partners, Hornwood will not be affected much by King Charles Industries.

The company is expected to break ground late this quarter.

Reach reporter Imari Scarbrough at 704-994-5471 and follow her on Twitter @ImariScarbrough.

Textile plant expected to create more than 100 jobs

By Imari Scarbrough