Updated:UNION CITY, Ga.,None - In an industry ravaged by foreign competition, Channel 2's Jim Strickland found a local textile company that's actually hiring back laid off workers.
The business is thriving with four plants south of Atlanta running up to four shifts each.
Cloth developed at Union City's TeCate Protective Fabrics makes up the uniform for every U.S. soldier now in combat.
"It's a proud feeling," said veteran employee Darlene Beasley. Strickland watched her test the company's fire resistant camo fabric. It's standard issue in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Knowing that you have something do to with helping our fellow Americans go out and protect the country, it's great," she beamed.
Vice President Mike Anderson said testing and development go on 24/7.
"Everybody throughout this company is totally dedicated. You go to the plant, you're going to see it there as well."
Strickland visited both a yarn plant and a quilting operation in Senoia in Coweta County. The company has more than 500 employees and a $24 million payroll.
"How long were you out of work?" Strickland asked rehired employee Lisa Bennett of Newnan.
"Right at a year. My unemployment was fixing to run out. I had one week (left), and they called me, back and I was so happy. I mean I was running back here," she said. Bennett is one of 87 employees hired or rehired within the past year.
TenCate fabrics, made in Georgia start to finish, also protect 70 percent of U.S. firefighters.