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Contracts mean 80 new jobs at Martinsburg hosiery firm

Royce leases space in former GM building

Royce leases space in former GM building

December 01, 2009

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A hosiery company in Berkeley County is expected to hire 80 full-time workers to meet the demand of new business licensing contracts it acquired with the Dickies brand clothing company, the Berkeley County Development Authority announced Monday.

Royce Too LLC, with offices at 150 Baltimore St. in Martinsburg, has leased 147,000 square feet of space in the former General Motors building to meet the new demand, said Stephen Christian, the authority's executive director.

The new hires will more than double the company's current employment figures, according to Christian.

"We were so excited to find the space we needed for this important expansion right here in Berkeley County," Howie Lindenbaum, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Royce, said in a news release. 

"Our experience doing business in Berkeley County has been rewarding and successful over the years. The quality work force and excellent location has 

provided us the strategic advantages we have needed to grow and prosper. We are looking forward to continuing our growth and commitment to Berkeley County for a long time."

"Royce has been an important part of our business community for decades. We are extremely pleased that they have chosen to continue their commitment to doing business in Berkeley County," Christian said in the release.

"Most new jobs are created by the growth of existing businesses in our community. This is a testament to the high-quality environment Berkeley County has created for cultivating the success of our businesses."

Kevin Starliper, president of the authority, said one of the significant initiatives the BCDA has focused on this year is improving comprehensive existing industry outreachand retention programs.  

"It's events like this that typify the importance of our commitment to that program," Starliper said.

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The former GM plant, now known as the Shockey Commerce Center, is owned by The Shockey Companies of Winchester, Va., according to Christian.

"We consider Berkeley County part of our corporate family," said Wade Johnson, director of facilities for Shockey. "Our investment in the buildings here represents an important part of our portfolio growth over the long term.  It has been great to work with the folks at Royce to puttogether a real win-win situation for us, for Royce and Berkeley County."

Founded in Philadelphia in 1949 by Benjamin Sirota as a maker of high-end hosiery for specialty shops, Royce moved to Martinsburg in 1965. Royce Hosiery Mills Inc. was among many textile companies in the Martinsburg area, including Interwoven Stocking Co., which had five local mills and was once considered the world's largest hosiery maker.

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