Veterans Day: 5 American Factories with Military History

In honor of Veterans Day, we’re paying tribute to American production houses working towards the betterment of our country. Some are owned by veterans themselves, and others specifically hire former soldiers, providing them with the opportunity to re-enter the workforce.

1. Krys Design + Manufacturing

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Krys Design + Manufacturing, a boutique-style production house, hosts  a training program for veterans to become skilled factory workers. The program began when the factory was having difficulty finding reliable sewers and machine operators to support their business. Starting off with easier projects, trainees soon learn to operate machinery and cut fabric. Hiring veterans has brought tremendous value and purpose to the enterprise.

2. Allen Manufacturing

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The Allen family has been in manufacturing over three generations for almost 75 years. Harry Allen started out supplying parts to the shoe industry during the Great Depression and introduced his son Bob at a young age. After serving in the military, Bob ventured out on his own and started his own factory at the age of 24. Over the last 55 years, Bob has crafted shoes, safety equipment, bags, gloves, handbags, car parts, and thousands of other items. Bob’s son David joined his dad at the factory. When his father retired, David followed in the footsteps of his forefathers by starting his own factory. As a tribute to his grandfather, Harry Allen, David named the company: Allen Manufacturing, Inc.

3. Unionwear

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Proudly committed to energizing the American economy through local manufacturing, Unionwear has made headway in small batch manufacturing, lightning fast product development and delivery, medical packaging, travel gear, safety products, and workwear. Unionwear’s employees, including many veterans, are all union-represented and therefore have access to health insurance, pension, vacation days, and holidays. Unionwear’s expertise lies in reviving abandoned garment factories in NY, NJ, and PA by salvaging their machinery, replacing management with lean manufacturing principles, and focusing on markets that require domestic manufacturing.

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4. Omega Apparel

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Omega Apparel Incorporated is veteran-owned and a major supplier of dress trousers, slacks, and skirts for the U.S. military. It has maintained a 20-year partnership with the Defense Logistics Agency and is known for its timeliness and high quality. Omega leveraged its depth of knowledge in military apparel to enter the commercial market with a full range of cut and sew manufacturing capabilities in multiple industries. Through a specialty line, the company partners with private entrepreneurs and small businesses seeking a domestic production partner and in need of smaller, more frequent production runs.

5. National Industries for the Blind

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The National Industries for the Blind, through its “Wounded Warrior Program,” supports veterans whose injuries have resulted in blindness. For military personnel, this affliction can be especially daunting as they deal with physical coping in addition to emotional healing and the transition to civilian life.

Seven out of 10 working-age Americans who are blind are also unemployed. Military members and veterans bring immense experience and value to the American workforce. The Wounded Warrior Program is designed to help these men and women secure employment in a wide variety of positions within National Industries for the Blind and their network of associated agencies across the country.

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