History of Textiles: Part 4
Owners of the early textile mills around the rural south often took a personal interest in employees and their families. The need for educational opportunities was realized from the beginning of the building of the mill and village of Cliffside, NC. In 1903 a room for a school was provided in a warehouse of the mill. This space was quickly outgrown. A large wooden store building was built with the upstairs floor converted into school rooms. In 1909, a wooden school building was constructed on North Main Street. In 1920, construction began on the presently used three story brick school building. This story was repeated throughout the south with owners investing in their employees and the towns built around the mills. Today, STI takes a personal interest in its employees by providing a free on-site health clinic, excellent benefits, and continued training opportunities. No, we don't hold school in the back room of the mill, but those same sentiments present in the mills of 120 years ago can be seen at STI today.