Hat company shifting production from China to Lancaster

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Feb 12, 2016 4:35 AM

Samuel L. Jackson arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Hateful Eight" at the Cinerama Dome on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

(Adamstown, Lancaster County) -- An iconic hat will soon be made in the midstate.

Bollman Hat Company is moving production of the Kangol 504 hat from China to Lancaster County after it raised more than $100,000.

Celebrities like LL Cool J and Samuel L. Jackson often wear the hat, fueling its popularity.

The machines are on their way from China, and will eventually end up in Adamstown, Lancaster County, home of Bollman Hat Company.

Hundreds of people contributed to the Kickstarter campaign that featured a video with an appearance by none other than Samuel L. Jackson that spread across the web.

It will bring 41 jobs to the area, and Bollman's president and CEO Don Rongione says they're already looking for workers.

"It's not a glamorous job. Finding those people who have that capability and mindset and attitude, and dedication and committment to learning it is going to the very first hurdle, and perhaps the most challenging," he says.

"There's a lot of skill that's required to make this product. It's a very hands-on process, and the skillsets need to developed over a period of, what might take 6 to 8 months with some of the jobs."

Rongione says Bollman networks with community organizations and trade schools to find potential employees.

Production on the Kangol 504 is expected to begin in April.

He says the project - from buying the machines to converting their power sources to training workers - could cost close to one million dollars.

A state grant is helping reduce Bollman's final costs.

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