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Enterprise Zone Brings Manufacturing Jobs to Coachella Valley

A California based apparel company is moving manufacturing back to California from China because of the Enterprise Zone. Here is the story from the Desert Sun:

Liat Tala is the picture of success.

Her company, Kentucky Denim, has sold a premium men’s denim clothing line it makes in China to more than 300 stores in the United States, Japan, Canada and the United Kingdom for six years.

“We’ve done well for ourselves,” the West Hollywood executive said.

“But it’s time to take the American Dream back to the United States.”

On Wednesday, Tala told the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership executive board she’s found a place to start anew: A 30,000-square-foot warehouse in Thousand Palms.

The venture, located in the Enterprise Zone, will open in January with 31 employees to produce a line of knitwear — tanks, tops, T-shirts, leggings and yoga pants — for men and women.

Called Tala Corp., the plan is to grow the workforce to 400 in the fifth year of operations. Ultimately, Tala wants to relocate the denim manufacturing line to the United States.

“Instead of importing from China, we’d like to export from here,” she said.

Costs to produce goods in China are rising. Bureaucratic tape is not easy to unwind.

“It became a kind of oxymoron,” she said. “Here we were throwing our dollars into a country when this country needs it more.”

Nestled in the iHUB for now, Tala credited tax incentives and team spirit — from the broker and Enterprise Zone officials to CVEP and county officials — for the decision to locate in a rural area where jobs are badly needed.

Tala declined to release the capital investment plan, but described it as aggressive. Besides the warehouse, a flagship store may open in Blythe.

Mark Weber, manager of the Coachella Valley Enteprise Zone, said the team has worked with Tala since July. “It’s a win for the Coachella Valley,” he said. “It’ll help put some people back to work and, hopefully, regain momentum.

“To bring back manufacturing to the U.S., and California specifically, is pretty amazing,” Weber added.

Besides Tala Corp., Electric Vehicle Enterprises made a presentation.

Thomas Flavin, chief executive of CVEP, also announced that Wells Fargo Bank will provide $30,000 in seed money to help create a CVEP office in the east valley.

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