In a move that will affect many in northwest Georgia – and in northeast Alabama – Mohawk Industries announced Tuesday, the tufting operations at its Lyerly manufacturing plant will be shifted to other locations and the Lyerly site will be converted to a yarn storage facility.
The plant will cease manufacturing operations on June 30th (2019).
Mohawk’s Lyerly site presently employs some 250 people. Some at the plant will remain to support warehousing operations, while the company will offer employment alternatives at nearby facilities to as many people as possible. Job opportunities are currently available at the company’s Summerville plant, where on-going investments expanded fiber production.
Exactly how many of those employed at the plant will be retained is unclear, and how many are actually going to be relocated at other plants within the Mohawk organization – is also unknown at this time.
There had been rumblings of changes coming at the Lyerly plant since before Christmas but nothing concrete until the announcement finally came down this week, with the full impact of the situation catching many off guard.
Quite a number of those working at the plant are from Cherokee County, so how the offered positions, with the increased travel distance, works out for them – remains to be seen.
“The toughest decisions in our business are those that involve people’s jobs, particularly in communities where we have established long and important relationships,” said Michel Vermette, Mohawk’s president of residential carpet. “Like most businesses with a large operational footprint, we continuously assess how to best manufacture our products, which is resulting in this plant consolidation.”
Rod Wedemeier, Mohawk’s vice president of human resources, stated that the company valued the contributions made by the team at Lyerly and wanted to retain as many of the people as possible.
“Our employees in Lyerly have always been among our best, and our priority is to assist them throughout this transition,” said Wedemeier. “For any individuals we cannot place, we’ll partner with the Georgia Department of Labor to find additional opportunities in the area.”
(Information provided in part by AM1180 Chattooga County Radio)