MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — Mohawk Industries notified employees at its Milledgeville plant Tuesday that the facility will be closing by the end of October, leaving around 200 workers without jobs.
The company issued a press release Wednesday to formally announce the closure of the local yarn manufacturing facility. Mohawk is a global flooring manufacturer based in Calhoun, Ga. Mohawk made a similar announcement back in May for its Lyerly, Ga. plant, saying it was scheduled to cease operations by June 30. That location reportedly employed 250 people.
Mohawk’s statement released Wednesday said the decision to close the local plant was a financial one.
“Although the men and women at our Milledgeville plant have done an outstanding job producing quality yarn, operating this facility within our existing manufacturing footprint is no longer economically sustainable,” said Michel Vermette, Mohawk president of residential carpet in the release. “We are proud of the Milledgeville team and their exceptional performance over the years.”
Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Angie Martin first confirmed the plant’s closure with the newspaper. She said her organization last did an employee count with Mohawk at the beginning of the summer and the number at that time was 277, meaning that if the number Mohawk gave in its press release was correct then the company had been actively downsizing.
Ed Walker, chairman of the Development Authority of Milledgeville and Baldwin County (DAMBC), told The Union-Recorder Wednesday that the DAMBC had not received an official prior notice from Mohawk about the closure. He said that he had, however, been getting calls from people around town as the news spread through employees.
“I think it’s obvious that it represents one less employer in the community,” Walker said. “We’re challenged to get other employers here.”
Mohawk’s release stated that the company’s human resources department plans to partner with the Georgia Department of Labor and local organizations to help the soon-to-be former Mohawk employees find jobs to replace the ones they’ve lost.
“During this time, our top priority will be working with the Milledgeville team to help them make a smooth transition to new job opportunities, including opportunities at other Mohawk locations,” said Rod Wedemeier, Mohawk’s vice president of human resources. “For many years, the people at this plant have contributed to the success of the business, and we will do what we can to help them in this transition.”