Officials of WorkWear said Wednesday that employees of the apparel manufacturing company are pleased to be working in Greensboro rather than Cleveland.
``We'd like to thank you for our wonderful new home and our beautiful work environment,' Vice President Byron N. Cohen told Greensboro business and civic leaders gathered for a ribbon-cutting program to formally mark WorkWear's relocation from Cleveland to the Byron Corporate Center on West Market Street.``We hope to make this a Greensboro-based company, one we all can be proud of for years to come,' Cohen said.
WorkWear, which makes occupational and specialized apparel, will employ 105 people in its corporate headquarters. The company was founded in Cleveland in 1915 but began looking for a new headquarters last year when an expanding Cleveland State University moved to acquire its offices.
He said the company decided to move its headquarters to the South to be closer to the factories where its apparel products are made. Carter/Galvis Corp., a sportswear producer on East Wendover, is a subsidiary of WorkWear, which is owned by New York investment firm PaineWebber.
Cohen said eight cities were considered, ``but after we did an in-depth site search, Greensboro came out clearly No. 1.'
Cohen said WorkWear has hired locally ``85 efficient, enthusiastic employees.' It transferred 20 workers from other locations, including 14 from Cleveland.
Among the transferees from Cleveland is purchasing manager Matt Miller, whose grandfather, Ray T. Miller, was mayor of Cleveland in 1930-32. Miller said he decided to make the transfer because he ``felt this was a good growth opportunity.'
His Cleveland roots made the transfer difficult until a volunteer with the Greensboro Area Chamber of Commerce, Lynn Huff of Rentenbach Constructors, began showing him and his wife, Judy, around town.
``Everyone was most congenial and nice,' he said. And, he noted, he has found a group of Cleveland Browns football fans who gather every Sunday to watch their favorite pro football team play.
``I think we're going to like it,' he said. ``I'm sure we will this winter when we don't get those cold blasts off Lake Erie.'
On one visit to look at possible office sites, Cohen was impressed by the West Market Street offices owned by Greensboro businessman Herb Parks' Byron Investment Co.
But, Cohen said, the rent was beyond WorkWear's budget. The next day, he said, Byron Investment Vice President Mark Branigan called ``and said Herb wanted WorkWear in Greensboro and would do anything reasonable' to get the company into the building.
The 77,000-square-foot building originally housed a divisional office of the old J.P. Stevens textile company and later was headquarters for Gilbarco until the latter built offices at its gas pump manufacturing plant in west Greensboro.