A $130,000 grant awarded by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey will help DeKalb County gain a new foothold on the textile industry and create 15 new jobs.
The town of Sylvania will use the Community Development Block Grant to assist the expansion of Alabama Wholesale Socks Inc.
DeKalb County and the city of Fort Payne, in particular, was often dubbed the “Sock Capital of the World” up until the 1990s when textiles took a tumble in the United States. The demand for U.S.-made products has helped produce somewhat of a revival of the county’s textile industry.
“Modern technology combined with some good old-fashioned American initiative have helped in many instances put the brakes on the textile industry moving to other countries,” Gov. Ivey said. “I commend Alabama Wholesale Socks on its expansion and its contribution to Alabama’s economy. I am pleased to award this grant to assist with the expansion and create new jobs.”
CDBG funds will be used to upgrade water lines serving the plant and to improve the road where the plant is located.
Alabama Wholesale Socks has been in business since 2002 after acquiring a previous sock manufacturer. In addition to Sylvania, the company has a presence in Fort Payne.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“Throughout her time in public office, Gov. Ivey has been committed to seeing Alabama’s economy grow and create new jobs,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is pleased to join with Gov. Ivey to assist in this venture.”
Gov. Ivey notified Mayor Gerald Craig that the grant had been approved. The town of Sylvania is pledging $37,000 in local funds for the project.
ADECA administers an array of programs supporting law enforcement and traffic safety, economic development, energy conservation, water resource management and recreation development.