One of our well-known business leaders, Allan Jones, became the new owner of one of our well-known industries, Hardwick Clothes.
Since the company was founded in 1880 by C.L. Hardwick, the employees at Hardwick Clothes have built a reputation for craftsmanship and excellence. For many years now, Allan Jones and his family and companies have earned a reputation for business success and community commitment.
The effort made by Allan and Hardwick Clothes President Tommy Hopper in recent weeks means job security for many people in Cleveland. It also means a great American textile name will continue into the future.
The news last week from Allan Jones and Hardwick Clothes is a tribute most of all to the workforce we have in Cleveland and surrounding areas.
Allan said it best when he was quoted in the Cleveland Daily Banner last Sunday. The most important asset wasn't on the balance sheet, he said. It's the employees at Hardwick Clothes.
That tribute to our workers is shared by many others. It is one reason Whirlpool decided to stay here and build its world class manufacturing facility in our city. Our workforce is a reason Wacker Chemie picked our community for its state-of-the-art plant. And this region's people is one reason Volkswagen is now just a few miles from our own downtown.
The strength of our workforce has been a key factor in our local economy for over 130 years now, ever since Hardwick, and other industrialists and business leaders like him, founded their companies.
Our community remains economically strong with a new generation of dedicated workers and very successful business leaders committed to the quality of life in our city.
That is true for the future as well. Hundreds of our high school students take part each year in programs like Tennessee Scholars, job shadowing, ethics in the workplace and youth leadership through the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce. The enthusiasm our youth bring to these workforce development programs offered through our school systems and the Chamber promises a bright future here.
So congratulations to the employees of Hardwick Clothes for being an important part of our city's past, present and future, and best wishes to the company's new management.