Archive for April, 2016

Welcome Back!
The Hosiery and Textiles Breakfast with Champions is May 11. Save the date.

Please join hosiery and textiles manufacturers from across North Carolina for our annual Salute to Legislators breakfast at 7:15 a.m. Wednesday, May 11 in the Legislative Building Cafeteria.

Our agenda will include an update on trends in 21st century textile manufacturing. We also will report on how we are training a new generation of people to work in these operations. And, of course, we will express our appreciation.

Please reply to: pfogleman@informinc.net

BAD NEWS, GOOD NEWS

First the bad news. The proposal for a new Revolutionary Textile Institute sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense as prepared by the N.C. State College of Textiles was rejected. The multi-million dollars program will be crafted by a consortium headed by MIT. The good news: The Textile Technology Center in Belmont will be a participating agency in the MIT program, along with the Manufacturing Solutions Center in Conover. The North Carolina participants are working on the creation of a textiles industry training program which would be national in scope.

The announcement of the $320 million initiative was made April 1. Some 50 companies, universities, and industry research and development entities will be involved in the thrust to push the textiles industry “into the digital age.” News reports suggested the program is to launch a Star Wars level for textiles with the embedding of a variety of tiny semiconductors and sensors into fabrics that can see, hear, communicate, store energy, warm or cool a person or monitor the wearer’s health.

Sam Buff, director of the Textile Technology Center, said the N.C. State College of Textiles is expected to be invited to participate.

NEW FACES

The Senate will convene with two new faces. Dan Soucek of Boone and Josh Stein of Raleigh resigned earlier this year, Stein to run for N.C. Attorney General. Stein will be opposed by another Senator, Buck Newton of Wilson who is serving his term. Chris Ergo, former heard of Equality NC, an LGBT activist organization, joins the House for the first time, replacing the late Ralph Johnson. The partisan make-up in the General Assembly does not change.

HERE WE GO

Five days from today we will be with legislators at the opening of the short session of the General Assembly. A lot of conversation is about HB2 and if changes or outright repeal will take place. But the real importance to citizens lies with adoption of a tweaked budget. The framework of the even-year budget should be that adopted in the first year of the session (last year). But higher than expected revenues from new taxes and fees will prompt lawmakers to make some significant changes. Those changes might include a five percent pay increase for public school teachers as proposed by Gov. McCrory. Redistribution of sales tax revenue, as pushed by Sen. Harry Brown of Onslow County, again is expected to divide the legislators.

Most observers expected the session to go no more than nine weeks. The Republican National Convention opens in Cleveland in mid July and lawmakers will be among the delegates attending. Also the goal is to have a budget adopted by the start of the fiscal year July 1. The unusual number of legislators running for the new 13th District congressional seat will ties up nine members.

MAY 11 NEWS

Learn More About the Revolutionary Initiative
for Textiles at the HTGAC Legislative Program

The deadline for reserving hotel rooms at the Holiday Inn Capitol in Raleigh is approaching. Also we need your reservations for dinner on the night of May 10. Join us and learn more about the exciting new plans for personnel training initiatives at the Textile Technology Center and the Manufacturing Solutions Center.

A block of rooms has be reserved for the night of May 10 at the Holiday Inn Capitol on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. We have a discounted rate of $99 per night. When contacting the Holiday Inn let them know you are registering under with the Hosiery and Textiles Governmental Affairs Council. We will have a dinner Tuesday night for attendees. A registration form is attached.

Registration for Legislative Visit May 11

HOME-GROWN LOVE?

PayPal pulled the plug on plans to expand in Charlotte, adding 400 jobs, citing the adoption of HB2 as the reason. LGBT advocates say more national companies are eliminating North Carolina as sites for possible expansion. So now the question: will harassed legislators give home-grown businesses more love?

The national media continues to pound the state for what they cite as a bill that discriminates against a class of people. Efforts to repeal the bill will be fiercely opposed by the most conservative GOP legislators, prompting more unflattering media coverage. Interviews with lawmakers in local newspapers and emails circulating on the internet reflect a no-holds barred oppositions to a rollback of the law. Thus, protecting North Carolina’s existing business base could become a higher priority.

When the General Assembly opens April 25 our message will be: “We are here … appreciative of the thousands of employees in our operations … and look forward to a continued partnership with state governments and the Legislature.”