Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Parent company of English American to bring jobs to county

Approximately 75 new jobs will be added over the next five years with the opening and expansion of branches of the Tom James Company in Westminster.

English American Tailoring Company, located in Westminster, will expand, and in a related announcement, Carlisle Etcetera LLC said that it will open a new distribution center in the area.

Carlisle Etcetera currently has its distribution center based out of Long Island. Larry Klein, chief financial officer of Carlisle Etcetera LLC, said the area became more desirable when comparing the price of real estate in Long Island to that in Westminster.

"In Long Island, of course, it's 10 times as much, and we liked the idea of owning our building," he said. "It's going to make the company much more profitable."

The new location, 1200 Independence Way, the former Marada Industries building near the new location of General Dynamics, will be mostly shipping and quality control, Klein said.

Though Klein couldn't say what the price of the sale was, he did say that it was a "very economical buy," and "significantly less expensive than it would have been elsewhere."

Carlisle Etcetera is a direct sellers of ladies' apparel, much in the same way English American makes custom-tailored men's clothing.

Tom James owns both Carlisle Etcetera and English American Tailoring. Between the two companies, approximately 75 jobs will be added over five years.

English American Tailoring Company intends to retain its current operations and 380 full-time employees, according to a release from Gov. Martin O'Malley's office.

The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development approved a $250,000 conditional loan based on job creation and retention, according to the release. Carroll County approved an additional $30,000 job-training grant to assist in training new employees.

Commissioner Dave Roush, R-District 3, said the county government's hope and expectation is that the clothing companies will hire from inside the county when hiring.

Klein said the number one reason Tom James is expanding in Westminster is because of the people who work in Carroll County.

Roush said the pool of potential employees has always been the number one attraction for employers.

"I think that's part of the good experience that English American has had here," he said.

Some data show manufacturing could be making a slight comeback in Maryland, after years of decline. In 2002, there were 4,534 manufacturing companies in Maryland, while last year there were 3,704, according to the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Carroll County follows a similar pattern. While there were 175 manufacturers in 2002, the oldest data available, last year there were 137 manufacturing companies.

According to DLLR, manufacturing is one of the most sought-after fields in Carroll and Howard counties. Manufacturing ranked second out of 10 in the top industries advertising job openings in November 2013, with 1,148 job openings.

Nina Smith, spokesperson for O'Malley's office, said Tom James moving its ladies' apparel distribution warehouse shows that manufacturing is continuing to recover.

"Maryland has laid the groundwork for companies to grow and expand here in our state," she said.