Shaw Industries will close one of its yarn plants in Chatsworth, Georgia, next month as America's biggest carpet maker continues to consolidate its operations and shift toward harder surfaces and different carpet styles.
In a layoff notice filed with the Georgia Department of Labor, Shaw said the scheduled May 12 closing of Plant 84 in Murray County will affect 260 employees.
Shaw said the consolidation process will begin immediately and displaced workers at the twist and heatset yarn plant in Chatsworth will have the opportunity to apply for open positions available at Shaw's other locations. The company operates more than 65 manufacturing facilities throughout northwest Georgia in addition to distribution centers and other operations.
"As the consolidation process begins, Shaw's human resources team will assist them with internal job opportunities and one-on-one consultations with Shaw's talent management team," Mark Hartline, senior director of human resources at Shaw, said in a statement. "Supporting associates during this transition is our highest priority."
Hartline said combining plant operations "allows Shaw to more fully utilize newer facilities with a broader range of capabilities while meeting ever-changing customer demands."
Despite the plant closing, Shaw said it has invested more than $1.5 billion in its U.S. plants over the past five years.
Shaw Industries Group, Inc., a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, generates more than $6 billion a year in sales and has more than 22,000 employees producing such brands as Anderson Tuftex, COREtec, Patcraft, Philadelphia Commercial, Shaw Contract, Shaw Floors, Shaw Hospitality, Shaw Sports Turf, Southwest Greens and USFloors.
Carpet sales have been flat in the past year and new technologies continue to make production more efficient.
In March, Engineered Floors Inc. announced it was laying off 103 employees at its Gainesville, Georgia plant.
Layoffs and cutbacks in and around Dalton's "Carpet Capital," pushed up the jobless rate in metro Dalton in February to 5.4 percent — the highest rate among Georgia's metro areas.
But Dalton's jobless rate is still only about 40 percent of the peak 13.6 percent unemployment rate reached in the depths of the Great Recession in 2010.