Auction ends for Johnston textile mill supplies

Auction ends for Johnston textile mill supplies

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - Once booming factories are now high-end apartments for many mills across the valley as the area feels the national impact of overseas competition.

The Johnston textile mill in Phenix City ended their online auction of office supplies Thursday as administrators work to empty all the equipment that sits in their warehouse.

The mill officially shut down at the end of March 2015, but administrators tell us the factory had been downsizing for some time after taking economical hit after hit for the last 20 years.

It's a trend seen across the valley and country, according to Phenix City Financial Director Stephen Smith.

"Historically, this entire area has been a textile-dependent industry. Textiles are struggling in the United States, they have a hard time competing internationally," Smith explained.

Nearly 200 people have lost their jobs at the plant as the disparity of the industry hit close to home a few years ago.

The factory was built in the 60's, expanded in the 70's, and now sits silent and still.

Phenix City officials say although the closing comes as sad news, they are working to bring more industrial jobs to the area, and expand the opportunities that are still available.

"The one thing that the textile industry left us was a good, hard working, workforce that understands the necessity to get to work every day and to work hard and do a good job," Smith said.

Once the property is completely emptied it will sit deserted until new tenants move in- something Phenix City officials hope happen soon.

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