An Israeli company that makes military equipment and outdoor gear is partnering with an American company’s Fayetteville division to make and sell the Israeli company’s products in the United States.
The manufacturing and distribution partnership aims to bring as many as 100 jobs to Fayetteville over the next three years, says an announcement from the Fayetteville Cumberland County Economic Development Corporation, a nonprofit agency that markets the area to potential employers.
Hagor Industries Ltd. of Israel and the Wahconah Group initially are setting up their new operation at Wahconah’s 10,000-square-foot Tactical Services Division on McMillan Street near downtown Fayetteville, executives from the two companies said Wednesday. They anticipate outgrowing that space and will be seeking an industrial space, said Wahconah CEO Isaac A. Crawford.
Here’s what you need to know about the companies, their new business and the new jobs:
What is this partnership going to do in Fayetteville?
In Fayetteville, a new and yet-to-be-named division of the Wahconah Group will make tactical textiles for Hagor Industries, said Crawford and Dima Feldgendler, Hagor’s vice president of international sales and marketing.
These include things like vests for body armor and gear for carrying equipment, Feldgendler said. Hagor has been supplying equipment to the Israeli military since it was founded in 1956, Feldgendler said.
The companies also plan to research and develop new products for the U.S. military.
American law requires the U.S. military to buy American-made equipment, the executives said, so their partnership in Fayetteville opens American military sales to Hagor.
Will there be non-military sales?
In addition to its military products, Hagor makes outdoor gear for civilians, Feldgendler said. Hagor’s website lists tents, sleeping bags, coats, gloves and other camping items.
The Hagor-Wahconah partnership will bring Hagor’s products to U.S. retailers and consumers, Feldgendler and Crawford said.
While the products for the U.S. military will be made in Fayetteville, the products for civilians will be imported, Crawford said.
What kind of jobs are coming, what will they pay, and how can workers apply?
Crawford anticipates hiring people with textile manufacturing skills, such as cutting and sewing.
He said wages would be competitive in the Fayetteville jobs market. The law requires U.S. military contractors to pay at least $15 per hour, he said. He estimated wages would be around $20 per hour.
Wahconah will announce later when it is ready to begin hiring, Crawford said.
What does Wahconah do?
The Wahconah Group’s Tactical Services Division opened in Fayetteville in 2019. It is a military subcontractor that cleans, disinfects and repairs tactical clothing and textile items for Army Special Forces, Navy SEALS and Marines, Crawford said. These are items that are unsuitable to be cleaned in a typical washing machine, and that could have blood on them and ink from where personnel wrote on them.
The work extends the useful life of gear that otherwise would have been thrown away, he said, saving money for the military by reducing its replacement expenses.
Wahconah has specialized washing machines and a process for drying the items without damaging them, Crawford said.
The company employs 15 people and has a contract through 2026, Crawford said. At busier times, it had as many as 25 people.
The Wahconah Group also has a clothing and jewelry division in Connecticut, called Loyalty Brand Products. “Loyalty Brand Products focuses on licensing, manufacturing and selling custom apparel and accessory products,” its website says.
Its products include clothing with logos and insignia for businesses, fraternal organizations, schools and other organizations. It also has clothing and apparel accessories for the general public, such as scarves, neckties, bowties and suspenders.
Source : The Fayetteville Observer