By Voice Staff
On Tuesday, U. S. Representative Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY 5th District) announced up to 350 new jobs to be created over the next ten years in McCreary County, KY. This week’s announcement by Rogers closely follows the Congressman’s announcement last week of a $1.1 million Abandoned Mine Lands grant for revitalization of the Historic Stearns District in McCreary County.
According to Congressman Rogers, the U. S. Army has selected Fibrotex USA Inc., in partnership with Outdoor Ventures Corporation (OVC), to manufacture next generation, state-of-the-art ULCANS (Ultra Lightweight Camouflage Netting System) for the Army over the next decade in Stearns, KY.
“This is an important long-term partnership that we are building in McCreary County to supply products directly to the Army. I anticipate this friendship to far exceed the next decade,” stated J.C. Egnew, Chairman, President, and Contracts Administrator for OVC. “Our friends at Fibrotex will retrofit the former Monticello Manufacturing building next door to OVC and will build a brand new 50,000 square feet manufacturing facility. Fibrotex will manufacture the specialized Ultra Lightweight Camouflage Netting that OVC will use to produce the final system to protect military personnel and equipment.”
The Monticello Manufacturing building, located next to the OVC Central Plant facility on Shirt Factory Road was last occupied by ArmorShield, a protective armor producing company. ArmorShield operated for nearly a decade in the facility, eventually moving operations to Ohio in 2016 after projected costs for repairing the building were too high for a new ownership group. The company attempted to negotiate with local officials to secure funding for the repair work, but were unable to secure a deal.
Fibrotex’s signature management system destined to be manufactured in Stearns not only uses camouflage to hide troops during the daylight hours, but also conceals them from detection by night-vision, thermal imaging devices, and other battlefield sensors.
“This is a significant accomplishment for the company,” remarked Eyal Malleron, the CEO of Fibrotex USA. “We are excited to bring the latest technological advances in multi-spectral camouflage applications to the U. S. Army and look forward to working closely with our partner, OVC. We believe that this is only the beginning of what we, together with OVC, plan to accomplish.”
In announcing the new jobs for McCreary County, Congressman Rogers spoke glowingly of the local workforce.
“We have the best workforce in the country, and OVC will soon make room next door for hundreds of new jobs that our people have earned through hard work and dedication,” Congressman Rogers declared. “I take great pride in knowing that our people are using their talents to make products for our warfighters and our allied forces. This news, along with our recent tourism-related grant announcements for the Historic Stearns Downtown Revitalization, is another great step forward as we work together to grow and diversify the economy in our region.”
According to Egnew, OVC and Fibrotex USA plan to begin production in Stearns during the summer of 2019 to fulfill the Army’s competitive contract award.
Outdoor Venture Corporation (OVC), founded in Stearns, KY in 1972, is a leading and prime supplier of critical next-generation military modular tent systems, base camp components, and military accessories for the United States Department of Defense, International Governments, and private industry.
According to their website, Fibrotex USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fibrotex Technologies LTD. The family-owned company was originally formed in Europe more than 100 years ago as a producer of textile materials. Since 1965 Fibrotex has been focused on specialized textiles, particularly with military applications.
A contract with the Israeli Defense Force in 1970 led to the development of a revolutionary camouflage system, which paved the way for more innovative designs and inventions – such as the material to be produced in Stearns.
Their mission states: “Fibrotex USA’s products save lives and improve operational effectiveness by protecting personnel and equipment in various geographical locations from detection and observation by enemy forces. Fibrotex USA develops its world class solutions by continuous analysis of contemporary conflicts, combining knowledge from field experience together with expertise in the area of unique compounds, ergonomic engineering, and camouflage materials to provide full multispectral signature management solutions, as it has done through thousands of combat operations for more than half a century.”