Shaw Industries is making an investment in McDuffie County.
A $27 million expansion of the local carpet manufacturer will begin next month, increasing the company's production by 75 percent and its workforce by 65-70 new jobs, Plant Manager Vince Shivers announced last Thursday during the Thomson Rotary Club meeting.
Plant Manager Vince Shivers shows a roll of thread during his announcement last week.
Photo by Kristopher Wells
"This is a significant investment in this town," he said.
Mr. Shivers said the Dalton, Ga.-based flooring manufacturer could have selected any of its locations for the expansion, but McDuffie won out thanks to help from local and state economic development leaders.
Forward McDuffie Director Don Powers credited the 700 or so people who already work at the Shaw plant. He said the Thomson plant has consistently ranked among Shaw's top producers.
"I think the people should feel proud that Shaw thought enough of them to spend millions of dollars in this local plant when they had several different choices as to where it could go," he said.
Shaw's expansion is the second in less than 18 months. In Dec. 2003, the company announced plans to expand productivity in its 16-year-old Thomson plant by as much as 20 percent.
Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue issued a statement Thursday afternoon commending the move by one of McDuffie County's largest employers.
"Shaw Industries is one of our state's great corporate citizens and has played a major role in making northwest Georgia the leader in the carpet industry," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "Shaw is committed to Georgia's long-term economic growth, and I'm pleased to announce that they are creating more jobs for Georgians through the expansion of their Thomson facility."
The work at Shaw is just one of several projects in the works at local companies. Expansions are also planned at Thomson Plastics, Milsco, Pelzer and others.
Such work is important locally because it shows the companies' confidence in McDuffie County, Mr. Powers said.
He said local leaders are constantly working to lure a really big company to the area, but it's a consistent school of locally created jobs that fill the creel.
"We spend a lot of our informal time making sure our local companies are happy," he said, adding that 70-80 percent of all jobs created in the county are in existing companies.
"You've got to take care of those folks that are already here, so that is what we are trying to do."