By RICHARD F. BELISLE
SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. - An expansion of manufacturing, warehouse and office space at the Franklin Clothing Co. in northern Franklin County will add 180 jobs over the next three years, increasing the work force at the garment factory to nearly 300, company officials said Monday.
The expansion will cost about $2.7 million, including $940,000 in state jobs training grants and jobs tax credits and $1.9 million being put up by the company.
About 60 percent of the new jobs will be for sewing machine operators.
The expansion comes at the expense of a company plant in Fitchburg, Mass., which will be closed, company spokesman Mark Falcone said at a news conference at the Shippensburg plant Monday. Falcone said the company closed the plant because of "economic reasons. We just couldn't turn that plant around," he said. Falcone also said the company had trouble finding workers at its Massachusetts plant.