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Melton Shirt factory slated to close

The Melton Shirt Co. in Batavia plans to close its factory doors, probably by the end of the year.
“The overseas competition has made it impossible to support the work force,” said Jonathan Perlis, co-owner and chief financial officer. “We’re getting killed.”
The flannel-shirt factory employs 60. The company at this time plans to keep operating its headquarters and factory-outlet store, which employs approximately 50.
Melton is “searching out other avenues” to stay in operation, Perlis said. Those include contracting out the factory work or relocating the company.
In the meantime, Genesee Community College is mobilizing a team to provide career planning and educational services to the employees losing their jobs.
The team, being coordinated by the Genesee County Job Development Bureau, will consist of representatives from the college, the bureau, Genesee Valley Board of Cooperative Educational Services and the state Department of Labor.
The team hopes to start offering services in September.
Some Melton employees already have called the college for help, said Donald Green, vice president for academic affairs.
“I’m sure that some Melton employees haven’t searched for a job in many years, and need aptitude testing and help with resume preparation and interviewing,” Green said. “We’re prepared to do that.”
Besides career counselors, academic advisers will be available for those employees thinking about enrolling in college courses.
Perlis said the company told employees of the impending closing this summer to give them enough time to make other plans.
“We didn’t want to do it, but it’s a function of this industry,” he said.
Perlis blames two forces: The federal government concentrates its trade policies on high-tech industries, leaving apparel companies unprotected; and discount stores are fueling foreign factories that can operate with lower wages and overhead.
“They’ve given us a double-edged sword,” he said.

Melton Shirt factory slated to close

The Melton Shirt Co. in Batavia plans to close its factory doors, probably by the end of the year.
“The overseas competition has made it impossible to support the work force,” said Jonathan Perlis, co-owner and chief financial officer.

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