A Woonsocket textile company is celebrating millions of dollars in military contracts.
Rhode Island's governor and members of its congressional delegation touted the success of The Brickle Group on Tuesday.
"My father took over a company that was basically a rag trading company," said company president Max Brickle.
The Brickle Group has made blankets for the military for decades and then added berets.
Now, they're also leading a group with an $84 million contract to make cold weather gear for U.S. troops.
"We saw that there was a need at the defense department for more cut and sew manufacturing, quality manufacturers. So, we were able to put together a consortium of folks that had the capabilities and capacities," Brickle said.
The company makes other products, from the yarn inside Major League baseballs to fabric for horse saddles.
And they're evolving, working with the state's job training program and even developing part of it.
"We've been able to train the workforce, so that they actually can get cross trained in a number of areas of the company, earn more wages, provide more for their families, and allow us to have the bandwidth to continue to grow," Brickle told NBC 10 News.
An they're not alone.
They're one of dozens of Rhode Island textile manufacturers in a partnership put together by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and the University of Rhode Island, bringing the long-time industry into the future.
"It’'s an exciting industry. There's great opportunities. You can earn a great living," Brickle said.
Courtesy: Turn to 10
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