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Shaw Industries to bring more jobs to McDuffie County

Shaw Industries can celebrate over the next year, as a significant investment has been made by the carpet yarn manufacturer to expand productivity in its 16-year-old Thomson plant by as much as 20 percent over the next few months.

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John Birt works on a spooling machine at Shaw.
Jason B. Smith
"The potential is there for the creation of between 40 and 50 jobs," said Executive Director of Forward-McDuffie Don Powers. "It shows a vibrant community, and a facility like Shaw has a tremendous impact."

Plant Manager Louise Middlebrooks said that the expansion is partly because the Thomson plant has been recognized as having outstanding productivity levels.

And while Shaw's expansion doesn't consist of physically adding more space to the facility, it will increase productivity even more because of more jobs and better equipment.

"We've removed some obsolete equipment over a year ago, and when we add our new equipment, we'll be back at a maximum capacity," said Ms. Middlebrooks, adding that the new equipment will probably be added sometime early next year.

Both Mr. Powers and Ms. Middlebrooks said that the expansion effort was made possible with help from the McDuffie County Development Authority.

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Ruby Kitchens threads a machine at Shaw.
Jason B. Smith
"The programs that they've introduced to us have been a great benefit to this expansion," said Ms. Middlebrooks.

Mr. Powers said that because McDuffie County is classified as a Tier One community, it can benefit from numerous tax breaks and financial programs.

"If your company has more than five jobs, then you can take a credit of $4,000 per job against state taxes," he said. "There's also Quickstart, which is a state supported effort run out of area technical schools where they come in and do your prehiring, procedures, and just about anything related to jobs, hiring and training. And (the Development Authority's) role on existing industry is to make sure businesses understand that.

"From the Development Authority point of view, we try to work with existing industries. I think the economy is coming back to where people are rehiring, but it's still not coming back to the point where people are actively seeking expansions and new site locations and that sort of thing, so we're going to get job growth in our existing industries."



Web posted on Wednesday, December 17, 2003











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