Laundry puts the starch in those hospital sheets

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 9, 2002

It’s washed &045;&045; it’s dried &045;&045; it’s folded, and then it’s shipped back out to its original source &045;&045; in this case any one of 12 health care facilities in the Southeast .

Crown Health Care Laundry, a laundry processing business which recently opened a plant on Highway 41 in Selma, began operations Aug. 1.

Inside the plant, one can hear the sounds of machines buzzing as workers fold clothes and mix and match the appropriate laundry with the appropriate health care facility.

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General Manager Dale Bailey, who manages the Selma plant, said operations have been progressing &uot;well,&uot; and that he was happy with his new workers.

Bailey, who has been in the health care laundry business for the past 20 years, previously worked with Crown at their facility in Pensacola, Fla., before coming north, assuming his new duties as general manager in Selma.

He still commutes back to Florida during the weekends to see his wife and three children, who remain there.

Although a lot of the work is automated, the plant still

employs 35 people, 22 of whom are from Selma.

Crown, which is a 46-year-old company, mainly does laundry for health care facilities. It currently has other locations in Pensacola as well as in Columbia, S .C. The plant in South Carolina processes only linen for military servicemen.

Bailey said the starting salary for workers at Crown Laundry is $6.05 per hour, and that wages gradually increase the longer one works with the company.

He added that one of the main reasons for Crown locating in Selma was that it opened business to several new markets that were too far to service from its Pensacola location.

Bailey said that being in Selma has proven to be a worthwhile experience.

Wayne Vardaman, head of the Dallas County Economic Development Authority, said he was pleased with the new facility, adding that he was also impressed with their management.

The company said that a future date, they would be adding another 20 to 30 employees to the Selma facility, but that at the present time, they would not be accepting applications.