WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) – The Piedmont Triad, long known for its historic impact on the textile industry, will be seeing one of those companies expand its manufacturing footprint.

Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday announced that Tex-Tech, which has headquarters in Kernersville, is investing $24.8 million in a new manufacturing center, adding 49 jobs to Forsyth County. A release from the city of Winston-Salem put the investment at $41.7 million and 59 new jobs.

Either way, this isn’t the denim and sweatshirts of lore. Tex-Tech makes specialty garments of unusual construction, such as those used in aerospace, defense, fire suits used by first responders and a variety of products that focus on safety and durability.

The company also is involved in PPE – personal protection equipment – the product line that became such a frequent topic of discussion and development during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. And it has a facility for 3D manufacturing. It says it produces 7,000 products.

In addition to Kernersville, the company’s six product lines – Matrix FR Fabrics, OASIS Super Absorbent Yarns, CoreFX Fabrics, Panotex Industrial Fabrics, HiFlex-Angle Induced Fabric and HiFlex Advantage– are manufactured in Salt Lake City, Cheraw, South Carolina, and North Monmouth, Maine, where it employs 265, a release from the city said. There are sales offices in Ireland and the United Kingdom.

State Rep. Kanika Brown (D-Winston-Salem) (NCGA)

“Forsyth County has a rich textile legacy,” state Rep. Kanika Brown (D-Winston-Salem) said in the release. “Our location, infrastructure and existing industry will continue to support the company in its next phase of growth.”

Tex-Tech’s planned facility in Forsyth will be 170,000 square feet on Old Lexington Road, and the Triad Business Journal reported that the company had considered Maine for this facility as well.

“Expanding in Forsyth County was the best decision for our company,” Tex-Tech Chief Financial Officer Kelly Moore said in a release from the governor’s office. “Being centrally located on the East Coast and having access to a growing advanced manufacturing talent pool were some of the differentiating factors for our decision to grow here.”

The company will be adding managers, operators, technicians and sales personnel at an expected average annual salary is $67,918, which is more than 20% greater than the county’s average of $57,351, the release said, and are expected to add $3.3 million in economic impact.

“North Carolina’s leadership in textile manufacturing helps companies like Tex-Tech stay on the cutting edge of innovation,” Cooper said in the release. “This expansion builds upon the company’s success in Forsyth County for 60 years, affirming that North Carolina is a great place to do business.”

The company has not received economic incentives from the North Carolina Department of Commerce – those could be forthcoming – but it will receive a performance-based grant of $125,000 from the One North Carolina Fund, the release said.

These grants are paid when job and investment incentives are attained and must be matched by local government grants, although the release didn’t mention such an award. TBJ reported that the city of Winston-Salem was considering $554,000.

Those differences in investment and hiring figures are because of those grants. The state’s incentive is based on a 3-year hiring threshold, and local incentive processes take a 5-year hiring plan, Greater Winston-Salem Inc. Senior VP for Economic Development Laura Lee told WGHP.