WICHITA FALLS, Texas (Nov. 24, 2010)—The state of Texas plans to invest more than $1 million through its Texas Enterprise Fund in Latex International L.L.C.'s latest fabrication and manufacturing expansion venture.
The rubber latex bedding product maker recently began consolidating fabrication operations from plants in Georgia and California at a 100,000-sq.-ft. facility it opened in Wichita Falls in early September.
Latex International has closed its site in Atlanta, shifting production to the Texas factory, and in a few weeks plans to do the same when it shutters its La Mirada, Calif., plant.
The investment ultimately will help create 190 jobs and generate an estimated $32.7 million in capital investment in the area, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said. The plant currently employs a work force of about 30 working two shifts.
The company also plans to expand its latex manufacturing operation at the Wichita Falls facility with the addition of latex pouring capacity within the next three years, according to both company and state officials.
Creation of a manufacturing operation in Wichita Falls will provide the company with lower operating costs and a central distribution area for its products, the state said.
It currently manufactures the majority of its Talalay latex pillows and mattress cores at its plant in Shelton, Conn., where it's headquartered.
That will change in the summer of 2011 when Latex International completes construction of a 251,000- sq.-ft. factory in Malaysia. The plant will service the company's growing business in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
“With the arrival of Latex International, we have four bedding manufacturers in Wichita Falls,” Mayor Glenn Barham said.
Dave Fisher, chief operating officer of Latex International, said the TEF played a key role in the firm's decision to move to Texas. “Wichita Falls is an ideal location for our operations,” he said, “and will help Latex International provide more consistent and improved on-time delivery to our customers in the West, Central and Southeastern parts of the U.S.”