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200 workers will lose jobs in Quitman Knitting shutdown

By By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
July 11, 2001
QUITMAN About 200 people here will lose their jobs in September when Nazareth/Century Mills closes its textile operations at the Quitman Knitting Mill.
Company officials said the work would be moved to Central America, where manufacturing costs are much lower.
The decision is no surprise, having been rumored around town for several months.
McMillan, who works with economic development projects in six East Mississippi counties, said that in the last eight years, 21 garment manufacturing plants in his area have either closed or downsized.
The shutdown is effective Sept. 10, and will be permanent.
Nazareth/Century notified employees of the closure earlier this week. The company produces knit apparel products for all age groups and genders. Its top customers include JC Penney, Sears, Wal-Mart and Kids-R-Us.
The company said in a press release the closure will improve its overall competitiveness. A major portion of the sewing and packing will continue to be produced at its plant in Honduras, with the rest of the work being farmed out to subcontractors. The administrative staff and warehouse employees, about 30 total, will be retained in Quitman to coordinate the new sourcing operation.
Nazareth/Century's sales and design headquarters will remain in New York City.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3217, or e-mail him at sswogetinsky@themeridianstar.com.

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