On November 12, 2019, The Brickle Group announced that more than $84 million in Defense Logistics Agency contracts were awarded to its subsidiary Northwest Woolen Mills over the last eight months. The Brickle Group, a third-generation, leading manufacturer based out of Woonsocket, R.I., has been producing textiles for the last 83 years, including the production of the U.S. Military blanket.
The Brickle Group credits the competitiveness of its proposals to the state’s business-friendly ecosystem and commitment to investing in Rhode Island’s past to drive the future. These awards would not be possible without the tireless leadership and support of Governor Raimondo, Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman David Cicilline and Congressman Jim Langevin, on behalf of Rhode Island’s manufacturing and defense industries.
The company has been a key participant in Real Jobs RI, Governor Raimondo’s cutting-edge workforce development platform, and the RI Innovation Network, sponsored by Senator Whitehouse, which has provided the vehicle for the 70 textiles companies in RI to connect and utilize each other to make the Brickle Group a one-stop shop, supply chain solution.
“Manufacturing is in Rhode Island’s DNA,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “That’s why we’re investing in platforms like Real Jobs Rhode Island that support our workers and homegrown companies like The Brickle Group. I want to congratulate the Brickle Group and their partners on successfully winning these federal contracts. I’m thrilled that they are thriving and growing here in Woonsocket.”
“I am always pleased to help Rhode Island businesses compete for defense contracts and thrilled when they win. These federal contracts mean more jobs here in Woonsocket. The Brickle Group and its employees contribute to a number of quality products for our service members. I salute the Brickle Group for ensuring our service members get the high-quality products they need for operations, and for producing them right here in Rhode Island,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee.
“With this significant contract, The Brickle Group continues Rhode Island’s tradition of making world-class products for the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces,” said Senator Whitehouse. “It’s gratifying to see our long efforts to convene the local textile industry and to support local manufacturing jobs bear fruit.”
“Rhode Island is at its strongest when hardworking folks have good-paying manufacturing jobs like those at Northwest Woolen Mills,” said Congressman Cicilline. “I commend the Brickle Group, RITIN, and Polaris MEP for their commitment to strengthening our state’s manufacturing industry and for making this award possible. I look forward to seeing the tremendous return on this important federal investment.”
“Manufacturers across Rhode Island play an important role in supporting our military and bolstering our national defense,” said Congressman Langevin, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee. “I am pleased the Defense Logistics Agency has awarded these contracts, and I will continue to fight for federal funding to support Rhode Island’s robust defense industry.”
“Through the support of our RI congressional delegation, Polaris MEP and Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network, especially surrounding networking and connecting with both our RI and New England Neighbors, the Brickle Group has been able to establish a supply chain that can meet and exceed the textile demands of the U.S. Department of Defense,” said Max Brickle, President of The Brickle Group.
Both the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network (RITIN) and Real Jobs RI were critical elements of Brickle Group’s success in landing these contracts. The networking opportunities provided by RITIN allowed Rhode Island and regional textile companies to organize in support of Brickle’s need to pull together a local supply chain that increases efficiencies and lowers costs. The Real Jobs RI platform and Polaris MEP provided training that helped Brickle develop its internal talent to meet the demanding standards of the Defense Department, as well as insured future access to flexible, on-demand training.
“One of RITIN’s fundamental goals is to increase networking opportunities among Rhode Island’s textile companies. So, as an organization, we are thrilled that those networking opportunities played a part in the Brickle Corporation’s ability to pull together a consortium of local companies to land this contract. Rhode Island’s textile community is stronger when we work together.”
The clothing and textiles contracts span over 5 years, with production taking place at the Brickle group’s Woonsocket facility as well at its New England textile partners. The Brickle Group has been producing the U.S. Military blanket for over 40 years. The U.S. Navy has added its version to the collection, which the Brickle Group is currently producing in its Woonsocket facility. The U.S. Navy Gray blanket is produced of 100% wool, providing warmth and durability to service the warfighter on U.S. Navy ships.
This marks the first year that the Brickle Group has been awarded this contract for Gen III Layer VII Parka and Trousers as well as the Snow Camo Trouser and Parka. These items make up the outermost layer of protection of the Gen III Extreme Cold Weather System. Adopted by the U.S. Army and U.S. Airforce, they are designed for use during extreme cold and dry conditions.