Local News

Company weaves data together in old Robbins sock factory

Posted January 30, 2017 6:24 p.m. EST

— An international finance firm with North Carolina ties celebrated a special anniversary Monday.

Situs has offices in London, Frankfurt, New York, Atlanta and San Francisco, but on Monday, the company celebrated 10 years in the town of Robbins in Moore County.

Robbins is a small town with empty store fronts, abandoned homes and clear signs that the town has seen better days.

“Through the years, it’s been hit hard. We had chicken plants, furniture plants, hosiery mill. All of them either went out of business or moved overseas,” said Robbins native Dana Powers.

Powers is helping to change that perception.

“I started 10 years ago. I was the first employee that started here. This used to be a hosiery mill, they made socks,” she said. “Before we moved in, it was just an empty, vacant warehouse.”

Where stockings were once sewn, more than 100 people weave together worldwide data for commercial development.

Steven Bean, the executive managing director of the company, grew up in Robbins but didn’t stay. He was one of the business leaders who moved jobs overseas and then had second thoughts.

“I saw what they did well there. I know what we can do well as Americans, and the idea was to bring this to rural America and try to compete with offshore every day at a higher quality point,” he said.

As the company marked 10 years in Robbins, there was an emotional celebration proving the American can-do spirit is still alive.

“I’ve grown up here, my parents have grown up here, my husband grew up here and his parents grew up here. This is where I want to be,” Powers said.

All of Situs’ employees were hired locally, and many are graduates of the community college system. Each member of the team who has been with the company from the start received a watch at Friday’s anniversary celebration.

“You give people an opportunity to do something that’s very different, and all of a sudden, they prove they can do it. They just have all those qualities that you know Americans have. They want to make a difference and want to make it happen. It’s part of the secret sauce,” Bean said.