City Retains 300 Jobs in South End

New Ownership of Michael Bianco to Maintain and Later Expand Current Workforce at New Bedford Factory
NEW BEDFORD, Mass., Nov. 3, PRNewswire

Eagle Industries of St. Louis, Missouri, today announced its purchase of the Michael Bianco manufacturing facility in New Bedford effective today. Eagle will be drawing on the skills of the current workforce at the Michael Bianco facility and transitioning the 300 current employees over to the new ownership to begin immediate work on military backpack and vest systems used to carry necessary soldier equipment required by the Army.
An industry leader in personal protection equipment, backpacks and vests for our soldiers, Eagle Industries will bring its long standing manufacturing skills in the personal military equipment arena to Massachusetts. Eagle’s highest priority upon gaining ownership of the Bianco operations will be honoring two prior Army contracts held by Michael Bianco for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (MOLLE) that enables soldiers to carry needed gear in a safe and efficient manner. At present, Eagle holds orders for approximately $37 million in MOLLE systems that Michael Bianco was under contract to produce for the Army. Significant future orders under this contract are expected as well over the next few years.
In addition to fulfilling the Army’s backpack and vest needs, Eagle will be working to secure government contracts for similar soldier support items to be produced at the New Bedford facility. This steady business will ensure stability for the factory’s workforce and should enable the company to eventually hire additional area workers.
Eagle is anticipating a smooth workforce transition process that will begin on Monday, November 5, and allow employees to begin work at the newly formed Eagle Industries-New Bedford facility by early next week. All Eagle New Bedford employees will be offered to participate in a Blue Cross/Blue Shield health care plan.
“As a family-run business, we place a great deal of importance on the quality of our products and ensuring the best possible working environment for our employees,” said the Vice President of Eagle Industries, Scott Carver. “Our industry experience coupled with the skilled New Bedford workforce will allow us to continue to provide our soldiers with the very best gear. It is a perfect fit. We are really looking forward to forging and growing our relationship with the community of New Bedford.”
Founded as a sewing company in a basement in Missouri, Eagle Industries remains family-owned and has grown over the past 30 years to three production facilities employing over 1,700 people. Eagle’s ability to design and manufacture top quality products for our military and first responders has earned the company a reputation as a world leader in highly technical nylon gear. This consistent growth in an otherwise struggling U.S. manufacturing industry has allowed Eagle to continue to expand its operations and provide new employment opportunities in all of its facilities.
New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang said, “I am pleased to learn that a strong, reputable firm has acquired the Michael Bianco factory and has preserved hundreds of jobs offering fair wages and good benefits to legal residents. The return of this New Bedford company to the list of businesses eligible to bid for government contracts begins a new era of strong a partnership with the City of New Bedford. I look forward to working with the Eagle Industries leadership to secure future contracts that will spur further job growth in our city.”
Officials on both the federal and state level in Massachusetts indicated that they were pleased by the transition of ownership and were hopeful that this move would bring job security to employees and eventually lead to new employment opportunities in the New Bedford area.
Senator Ted Kennedy said, “I’m very hopeful this announcement will mean a bright future for many hard-working Michael Bianco employees, bring new investment to New Bedford, and mark the beginning of new vibrant relationship for workers and management.”
Senator John Kerry said, “I am happy to welcome Eagle Industries to Massachusetts and to New Bedford. This is terrific news that New Bedford will continue to provide our troops with the tools that save lives and keep the military running while we keep good jobs right here in the community.”
Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Dan O’Connell said, “We are pleased to see that Eagle Industries has invested in the Commonwealth and created both job security and future growth potential for New Bedford.”
State Senator Mark Montigny said, “Our soldiers deserve the best tools on the battlefield and their military equipment must be of the highest quality. Our workers are among the most skilled and hard working in the nation. This transfer of assets will end the fear and insecurity felt by the employees and will lead to significant job creation for New Bedford residents.”
State Representative Antonio F.D. Cabral said, “It’s great to have a company that will not only protect the existing jobs, but bid for additional contracts to create new jobs. This is good news for New Bedford and good news for hundreds of hard working men and women and their families.”
About Eagle Industries:
Eagle Industries is a world leader in tactical nylon gear for the military and law enforcement community. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, the company employs over 1,700 people worldwide and produces over 5,000 products, manufacturing and distributing these products to meet specific military and first responder needs. The company began in 1974 in the basement of current owner John Carver’s mother’s home. It was incorporated as Eagle Industries in 1982 and remains in family hands.
Frontenac Financial Group, Inc. of St. Louis served as Eagle’s financial advisor and facilitator in this acquisition.
Sourse: Eagle Industries

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