Painful textile job losses in Dalton

Painful textile job losses in Dalton

November 9th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

Just weeks after it said it would have to close one of its plants in Dalton, Ga., by the end of the year, Beaulieu of America recently announced it would also have to shut an adjacent plant.

All told, Dalton will lose 320 jobs from those closings. Low demand for carpet in the weak economy is behind the layoffs.

"We kept holding on and holding on, but we had to do something ...," said Beaulieu CEO Ralph Boe. "This is regrettable but necessary."

Unfortunately, these latest negative tidings are scarcely the full extent of the problems in the textile industry in North Georgia.

Thousands of textile jobs have been lost in the region during the economic crisis, and those losses have come at a number of companies.

Beaulieu officials hope to be able to place some of the soon-to-be-laid-off employees at its other facilities in Georgia and Alabama.

But things will likely remain tough until the home-building industry begins to turn around. New homes make up a good bit of the demand for carpet and other textiles.

Dalton is already suffering high unemployment.

These latest job losses are painfully unwelcome news.