Judging from the abandoned factories that make up this country’s urban landscape, Faribault Woolen Mill Co. in Faribault, Minn., should’ve been a goner when it shut down in 2009 and 2010 and laid off all of its workers.
It’s staged a remarkable comeback, however, as documented today in the New York Times.
All the workers are back and 30 new positions have been added.
Good times, right?
Faribault mirrors the nation’s economy. Things look better than they were, but everyone’s worried about what’s ahead.
“More people are finding jobs, but nobody feels optimistic about their income prospects,” Michael Gapen, chief United States economist at Barclays, tells the Times. “That’s likely why it doesn’t feel like the economy has really recovered even though the statistics say it has.”
“You have to be aware that there are ups and downs,” said Dennis Melchert, 60, who has worked at the mill for more than 40 years and is now vice president for product development and research. “The worst part of what we went through was when the company was unable to pay its bills. Everything in textiles is based on trust.”
“The overall economy is picking up,” Mr. Melchert added. “But we’re more grounded in our decision making, and we’re not growing whole-hog. The biggest challenge is that you should grow slowly and not go kaboom.”
Related: How Faribault Woolen Mills revived a 150-year-old brand (Twin Cities Business Magazine)