ATLANTA (AP) — A Georgia-based carpet manufacturing company will open two facilities in the northwestern part of the state, creating about 2,400 jobs over the coming years, the office of Gov. Nathan Deal said Wednesday.
Engineered Floors will build the facilities in Whitfield and Murray counties under a plan that was expected to be finalized Wednesday, Deal's spokesman Brian Robinson said. The development was first reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB-TV.
"The story of Engineered Floors is the story of a Georgia-grown company's continued commitment to, and investment in, northwest Georgia," Deal said in a statement. He added that the floor covering industry is a cornerstone of the state's economy.
Northwest Georgia is internationally known as a carpet manufacturing hub, but the region lost thousands of jobs when the housing market stalled. More than 90 percent of all carpets sold in the U.S. and 54 percent of the country's carpet exports are made in the state, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
"The expansion of Engineered Floors is uplifting news for Northwest Georgians, who have persevered through the recent years of economic hardship," U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-GA, said in a release. Graves, of Georgia's 14th Congressional District, represents Murray and Whitfield counties.
"Many families will be relieved to hear about the thousands of new job opportunities, and we're all proud to see Dalton and the surrounding area remain the Carpet Capitol of the World," he added.
The facility planned for Murray County will be a manufacturing plant and the Whitfield County facility will be a distribution center, according to Allison Tyrer, Georgia Department of Economic Development spokeswoman.
It was not immediately clear Wednesday where the two facilities would be built. A message for Engineered Flooring representatives was not immediately returned.
Bob Shaw, Engineered Floors CEO, is expected to invest $450 million in the expansion, and the plants are expected to employ 2,000 people over the next five years. The company has committed to creating 2,400 jobs in the state and is eligible for up to $69.7 million in tax credits, Tyrer said.
The benefits include mega project job tax credits and assistance from workforce training program Georgia Quick Start.
Tyrer said Engineered Floors will also be exempt from paying sales tax on energy used in the manufacturing process, and will be exempt from sales tax on construction materials.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.