Chattooga County sole Commissioner Jason Winters said the Summerville site was chosen over other Mohawk facilities in North Carolina and South Carolina.
“We are excited to be able to land this from out-of-state competition,” Winters said. “One of the big incentives for Mohawk on this was the job training programs that the (Georgia Northwestern) technical college offers, and it was a huge asset for us.”
Mohawk’s Summerville operation recycles billions of reclaimed plastic bottles and containers into polyester fibers, which are used in the production of carpet.
Winters said a local team, which included officials with Chattooga County, Summerville, Northwest Georgia Joint Development Authority, Chattooga Chamber of Commerce and Georgia Northwestern Technical College, began working with state economic developers and Mohawk on the project about four months ago.
“We were determined to land this expansion,” Winters said.
Summerville City Manager Russell Thompson said he hopes the project solidifies Mohawk’s footprint in Summerville and Chattooga County.
“We look at it as total upside to, at least, sustain water and gas and sewer revenues that we are currently enjoying and to sustain that over a period,” Thompson said.
The first phase of the expansion will strictly involve the acquisition and installation of new equipment to enhance the recycling and manufacturing processes.
Mohawk officials report that the demand for polyester carpet continues to grow, and the $180 million in new investments will allow Mohawk to meet the growing demand.
In a press release issued by the office of Gov. Nathan Deal, Mark Dye, Mohawk’s vice president of recycling, said the company continues to invest in leading-edge technologies with confidence in the skills and dedication of its workforce in Summerville.
“We anticipate the initial phase of the expansion will be operational in 2013,” Dye said. “We appreciate the support of leaders in the city of Summerville, Chattooga County and the state of Georgia that helped to make this expansion possible.”
Winters said the first phase would involve the addition of approximately 100 new employees.
The city of Summerville is donating property inside the Summerville Industrial Park for a new Georgia Power substation to serve the Mohawk expansion.
Mohawk also operates a plant in Lyerly, and employment levels at the two plants together have dropped about 19 percent during the last five years. The projected expansion will increase the Mohawk jobs by close to 65 percent by mid 2015.
Winters said Mohawk would get 100 percent tax abatement on any buildings and equipment associated with the expansion on both county taxes and county board of education taxes for 10 years. The city of Summerville does not levy a property tax.
“We are excited about the announcement, not only for Chattooga County but the region,” said Craig McDaniel, president of Georgia
Northwestern Technical College. “Through the Quick Start program, GNTC will be training new hires for the Mohawk expansion. It will be very customized training, industry specific and process specific.”
David Tidmore, president and CEO of the Chattooga County Chamber of Commerce, said the Mohawk announcement Wednesday means residents of Chattooga County will have more than 1,000 new jobs within 20 minutes of downtown Summerville during the next three years. Tidmore was referring to the Mohawk project as well as the Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse distribution center under way off Ga. 140 in Floyd County.
Click here for more on employment in Floyd County.
Click here for the Georgia Department of Labor.