• BENEFITS AFTER BURLINGTON: The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a $4.6 million National Emergency Grant to the North Carolina Department of Commerce to help retrain 2,021 former employees of Burlington Industries Inc. who lost their jobs as a result of foreign competition. The funds will pay for retraining and support services such as child care and transportation. Other services provided will include job searches and placement assistance. The grant will come from the Secretary of Labor’s discretionary funds. In 2002, Labor awarded $316.7 million in emergency grants, which cover massive employment losses due to bankruptcies, closures, trade displacement and natural disasters.

  • VF’S NEW LEG DEAL: VF Intimates, a unit of VF Corp., signed a licensing deal with Americal Corp. for a line of Curvation legwear. The Curvation innerwear brand launched exclusively at Wal-Mart last spring, and is designed to attract a hip, fashion-conscious and full-busted consumer. Its legwear will include sheers, tights and trouser socks, and is expected to bow for fall 2004. “The Curvation brand allows us the opportunity to provide solution-based, comfortable hosiery to ‘real women with real curves,’ the fastest-growing market in sheer hosiery,” said Tia Tate, senior director of brand management at Americal. In recent months, VF stepped up its offerings in legwear. During the spring market this month, the firm launched legwear collections for its Vanity Fair and Lily of France brands, licensed to Candor Hosiery Mills.

  • KMART ADS: Kmart Corp. has selected Grey Global Group as its primary advertising agency for media planning and buying; TV, radio and magazine campaigns, and marketing and consumer outreach. Grey Global entities involved with the $100 million account include Grey Worldwide New York, WING Latino Group, Alliance, G2 Worldwide, MediaCom and Carol H. Williams, Grey’s African American Communications strategic partner.

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