The announcement of the closing came Thursday from the Calhoun-based carpet and flooring manufacturer. Operations conducted at the Cartersville location will be gradually phased out beginning this week, lasting through August.
The manufacturer stated in a press release Thursday that open positions at other facilities will be evaluated for the relocation of some employed at the 200 Industrial Drive site in Cartersville.
"During the weeks ahead, Mohawk will review job openings at other facilities with those at the Cartersville facility as well as working with state officials to identify other opportunities," stated Jerry Hendrix, senior human resources director, in a press release. "The people at our Cartersville facility have been providing high quality products and have made great contributions to Mohawk through the years.
"We hope to find job opportunities for as many of them as possible because we respect and appreciate them," Hendrix added.
The stated reasoning behind the decision was due to current consumer trends moving away from spun yarn carpeting and towards those manufactured from filament yarn. Citing the decrease in demand for the most recent closing, Mohawk also stated in the release that filament capacities have been increased at other facilities.
This announcement came on the same day as the preliminary unemployment rate for May, in which Bartow County saw a drop of almost a full percentage point to 11 percent -- down nine-tenths of a point from the revised April rate. The preliminary May unemployment rate was Bartow County's lowest since May 2009's rate of 10.8 percent.
The Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development works closely with the community of manufacturers in Bartow County, harboring relationships and attracting new industry. Melinda Lemmon, executive director of the Department of Economic Development, commented on the loss of Mohawk's presence in Cartersville.
"From the Department of Economic Development point of view, every day we try to do things that would strengthen our companies and help retain and create jobs but something like this is certainly a blow -- a disappointment -- but we have already started rallying a team that will be of support to the company, to the employees, that will help them find replacement jobs and also support the company as they figure out what to do regarding other matters," Lemmon said.
Commissioner Michael Thurmond of the Georgia Department of Labor commented on the closing, offering support from the state for the employees and the company as they make this transition. Representatives from the GDOL met with those from Mohawk on Thursday to speak about how they could help.
"We first want the employees to know that we will be there with them, supporting them and providing them with the support and the assistance they will need to get through these difficult times and we will do everything we can to help them find new jobs or new careers," Thurmond said. "We recognize that this is a very challenging job market that we are in but we will stay the course throughout this difficult period."
Thurmond continued by speaking of the textile industry and how it has been affected in this recession. With the decline of new home construction and home sales in general, the carpet and flooring industry has been hit hard in recent years.
"The textile manufacturing industry has just been hammered throughout the recession and this is just initial evidence to show that we are not out of the woods yet and the economy continues to struggle and as a result Georgians are finding themselves unemployed," he said. "We still have a ways to go before we can really say we're in economic recovery."
On a more positive note, the commissioner concluded his comments by offering hope to Bartow County through praise for local leadership, from which he feels recovery will be derived.
"The good news is that you've got a great public/private relationship there in Cartersville and Bartow County," Thurmond said. "You've got great elected officials who I've worked with, an excellent chamber over there with Kay Read. Commissioner Brown and others, I know that they're working to bring new jobs to Bartow County and I have every confidence they'll be successful in that.
"It's going to come down to the local leadership. So luckily you have good, strong local leadership, and that's going to make all the difference in the world in the end."