Stoneville, NC - 37 years ago Gordon Gerbing created a new product thanks in large part to an employee of his that drove a motorcycle to work in the winter.
Gerbing had an idea to keep the employee warm. So he took an electric blanket and converted the 110-volt wires into the 12-volts that motorcycles use. He then inserted the wires and pads into a snowmobile suit. The pads were sewn into the collar, chest, back and sleeves thus creating Gerbing's Heated Clothing.
And while the technology is impressive, what really makes this company special is the commitment they have made to the American worker. Up until 2010 the company was making their goods overseas.
"About two years ago I started thinking in my head, is it feasible to bring it back to the United States", says CEO Jeff Gerbing.
The answer to Gerbing was yes! So Gerbing moved all production to an 88-thousand square foot facility in Rockingham county. Gerbing added "And I want four more (buildings) and I want 300 people working here that is my goal".
Gerbing as you can tell is not your typical CEO. "People always say its about the money. For me it's not about the money it's about people helping mankind and really it's about helping our fellow people and if we don't do that then there's no hope."
Gerbing's hope is that other business leaders follow his lead. "I want to set the standard for all companies that hey if Gerbing's can do this (move production back to the United States) then there is no reason you can't do it either. It takes one person to light the candle to get the thing going and you just need a bunch of other people to join in and here you go. Here is a business in Stoneville that wasn't here a year ago."