Hardwick Clothes in Cleveland acquired by Puerto Rico nonprofit, will add 100 workers

Staff Photo by Ellis Smith—Mechanic Jimmy Dunn works on a broken sewing machine at Cleveland, Tenn.-based Hardwick Clothes

For the second time in the past five years, America's oldest men's suit maker has a new owner.

A Puerto Rico company has acquired Hardwick Clothes in Cleveland, Tenn., with plans to add 100 more workers to help make a new line of dress uniforms for the U.S. Army.

Puerto Rico Industries for the Blind (PRIFB) Corp., a non-profit company headquartered in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, purchased Hardwick on Friday from Cleveland businessman Allan Jones - the founder and CEO of the nation's biggest privately owned payday lender Check Into Cash who rescued Hardwick from bankrupcy in 2014. The new Hardwick owners have kept the 200 workers now employed at the 174,000-square-foot plant and are gearing up to hire more workers through a federal program designed to help employ disabled persons supplying federal contracts.