The sky’s the limit in the flooring industry, though manufacturers have to stay in step with constantly changing demands in consumer tastes and preferences for what’s underfoot.
Shaw Industries Group’s flooring plant in Andalusia, which makes fiber used in carpet, has been in the midst of a yearlong upgrade worth $184 million. While the mill continues its operation, construction workers have done targeted demolition and built new and expanded work spaces, as well as installing new manufacturing equipment. Along with improving production, the changes will improve ergonomics and safety for the plant’s more than 1, 000 employees. The first of Plant 65’s new equipment is set to be in place and operational by the middle of this year with additional equipment installation and construction continuing through 2020.
Shaw’s operations are increasingly complex, meaning that everyone from designers and data scientists to machinists and managers needs a higher skill level than in the past. Company officials have praised Covington County’s well-trained associate base in the process of growing the plant. Shaw is Covington County’s largest employer. More than 22, 000 people work for the company, which is based in Dalton, Georgia.
Meanwhile, Shaw was ranked last month on Forbes Magazine’s 2018 list of America’s Best Employers. “Even as Shaw continues to invest in new and upgraded manufacturing facilities, we know that our most important asset is our people, ” said CEO and Chairman Vance Bell.