Gildan closing will leave 180 jobless

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By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

HILLSVILLE — A Virginia Employment Commission official is confirming the closure next year of a sock-knitting plant in Hillsville.

Gildan has given employees notice about the coming shut down, said Bill Webb of the Virginia Employment Commission Thursday morning.

Employees have been calling the employment office located in Galax and requesting assistance, he explained.

The end of the sock making operations in Hillsville is expected to occur on Feb. 26, he said. The employment commission is still seeking information from Gildan on the total number of employees that will be involved.

Media reports have indicated that the number of employees to be laid off in Hillsville will come to 180.

It's been a little over two years that international activewear company Gildan bought out Kentucky Derby Hosiery. It closed down several plants in Mount Airy, N.C., and a toe seeming operating in Hillsville but kept the other plant here in business.

This latest closing announcement follows a year of massive layoffs in the Twin Counties in 2007, much of it from the furniture industry.