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Mohawk to close Dillon facility

October 1, 2008
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DALTON, Ga. -- Mohawk Industries announced plans Tuesday to close its yarn manufacturing facility in Dillon within 60 days.

The company is the latest in the Pee Dee to follow the trend of plant closures and layoffs. Wellman Inc. also recently announced it is laying off workers and closing the Pee Dee locations because of the country's economic state.

Mohawk, which also will be closing its facility in Fort Oglethorpe Ga., cited the "present U.S. economic slump" as a primary reason for the shutdowns.

The company employs 137 people at the Dillon location and 235 at the Georgia facility.

Jerry Hendrix, senior human resources director for Mohawk's Flooring Division, said those people are the primary concern during this time.

"Our utmost concern at this point is assisting the men and women who work at these two facilities," he said in a press release issued late Tuesday afternoon. "They have done a fine job but the current economy forces companies to make difficult but necessary business decisions."

Hendrix said the company plans to offer jobs at other facilities to the displaced workers and to work with state officials to bring job fairs to the region.

"My heart goes out to the men and women at both of these locations and to all of the American employees facing similar situations," he said.

Just two years ago, the Georgia-based rug and carpet manufacturer officially celebrated the grand opening of its new state-of-the-art extrusion and yarn mills in Bennettsville at a ceremony attended March 15, 2006, by Gov. Mark Sanford and Mohawk CEO Jeff Lorberbaum.

The expansion, which began in 2004, culminated in the opening of the Oak River North Site, representing 300 new jobs and a $70 million investment in the Marlboro County town.

Originally beginning its South Carolina operations in 1957, Mohawk already employed 650 people at its original mill, known as the Oak River Site. Lorberbaum indicated at the time that the completion of the Oak River North Site was the first phase of a potential expansion that could accommodate another 300 workers. The grand opening brought Mohawk's total employment in Marlboro County at the time to almost 1,000 people.

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