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RIVERS WEST APPAREL TO TAKE OVER PYKE SITE

The bad news for Sanpete County's struggling economy, which is counted on to supply jobs for local residents as well as an ongoing influx of young families, came with the announcement of Pyke Manufacturing that it would shut down its Manti operation effective in early March at a cost of 83 full-time jobs and a $1 million payroll.

The good news for that same economy occurred with the announcement by Rivers West Apparel Inc., Seattle, that it would be opening its Rivers West Manti branch in early April.Rivers West Apparel officer Mike McGinley said the Manti branch will manufacture sports apparel for Patagonia and Nike.

He added that the firm will employ the same veteran work force that had been employed by Pyke but expects to increase the number within a year or two.

"We also plan to upgrade the pay scale," he added.

The manager of the Manti branch will be Ray Baldwin, who lives in Orem but will move soon to the Sanpete area.

Pyke and now Rivers West lease the building built by the Manti Business Improvement Association as the location for a World War II parachute plant.

It has since been occupied by several needle trades businesses, and some local residents have spent almost all their working lives in the building.

One reason for the move to Manti was the availability of an experienced work force, McGinley said. And, the building was especially designed for Rivers West's kind of operation, he added.