Looking back at Franklin County’s history through the eyes of newspaper articles from 25, 50 and 100 years ago.
25 Years Ago
November 8, 1994 – Tuesday
“Apparel industry starts to come apart at the seams”
The apparel industry in Franklin and Fulton counties employed 3,000 people in 1982. It now employs about 1,500, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.
The Greif Cos. recently announced it will close its Shippensburg plant that employs 164 people.
Overseas clothing makers with inexpensive labor have cut into the U.S. market and idled U.S. plants including local ones.
To top it off: Industry sales have been flat this year.
U.S. workers who lost their jobs to foreign competition have been entitled to additional unemployment to come apart a bit at the benefits. Many trained for other jobs.
Nearly all of the people now employed by the industry locally work for J. Schoeneman Inc., with plants in Chambersburg and State Line.
The company recently decided to consolidate many of its operations to Franklin County.
“I hope these words don’t come back to haunt me: At this point, we have a lot of confidence in Schoeneman in what has been a long-term shakeout in the industry,” said L. Michael Ross, executive director of Franklin County Area Development Corp.
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry no longer lists employment figures for clothing manufacturers to protect the confidentiality of Schoeneman’s number of employees.
The apparel industry accounted for 6.8 of jobs in Franklin and Fulton counties in 1982. Clothing makers now have less than 2.9 of the job market.
Sewing jobs in 1982 outnumbered jobs in printing by a ratio of 2-to-l and in food products 3-to-l. Employment in both sectors now surpasses apparel jobs.
The local apparel industry on average has lost more than 100 jobs each year since 1982.
50 Years Ago
November 8, 1969 – Monday
Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad, left, and Dick Gordon check couch Division plant in restraints in the command module they will fly to the moon. Photo was taken during checkout by the North American Rockwell Space Downey, Calif. Apollo 12 flight is off Nov. 14\
100 Years Ago
November 8, 1919 –Saturday
“CHANGE Of C. & S. SCHEDULE”
Effective Monday. Nov. 10, all C. & S. cars leaving Chambersburg Square on the hour will run to Scotland road only, except 6 p.n. the car which will run to Red Bridge the same as at present.
C. & S. Railway Company