One Northwest Georgia manufacturing segment has perhaps hit its floor and is again on the rise, based on two announcements Monday.

Dalton-based flooring manufacturer Shaw Industries is planning to expand its manufacturing operations in Calhoun, creating as many as 200 new jobs, Gov. Sonny Perdue announced.

Perdue also announced that IVC US, a Belgian flooring manufacturer, plans to open its first U.S. plant in Dalton in 2011. The $70 million investment will create 115 jobs.

Shaw plans an overall expansion of operations within its carpet division and will occupy its formerly idled facility in Calhoun, investing in equipment and infrastructure to increase the company’s capacity to process filament yarn. Shaw expects the facility’s expansion to be completed by mid-2010.

“Our commitment to our customers and future growth drives our long-range planning,” said Vance Bell, Shaw Industries chief executive officer. “This expansion of operations, which is located in a community and state we’ve had great experiences with, will give us the best competitive advantage and position for the long term.”

“Anytime you’ve got new jobs, it doesn’t matter the number, it’s good news,” said Jimmy Phillips, president of the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce.

“Whenever you’ve got investment from a quality company like that, not only jobs, you’re proud to be part of that.”

“We appreciate the investment and the large number of jobs that will be created in our community,” said Larry Roye, chairman of the Development Authority of Gordon County. “The team effort put together by our local representatives, the state of Georgia and Shaw Industries has made this project possible. The future is bright because of the partnership we have with Shaw.”

Previous Shaw employees in the community who have been displaced during the past few months because of economic conditions will be given the first opportunity to fill the new positions.

IVC currently operates a 220,000-square-foot distribution center in Dalton and another in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. The centers distribute a wide range of cushioned-back vinyl products designed specifically for the U.S. market.

With the opening of the new Dalton plant in 2011, IVC will add 115 employees during the next three years, bringing total domestic employment to more than 150.

“We reviewed proposals and looked at sites in many areas of the country,” said IVC US Inc. CEO Xavier Steyaert. “Ultimately, we’ve established strong roots here in the state of Georgia. So many positive factors combined to end our journey where it began — back home in Dalton.”

“We are absolutely thrilled that IVC has chosen Dalton and Georgia for their first manufacturing operation in the U.S.,” said Brian Anderson, president of the Dalton-Whitfield Chamber of Commerce. “Our team at the chamber, the Dalton-Whitfield Joint Development Authority, the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners and economic development leaders with the state of Georgia, have all worked diligently to bring this to fruition.”

Rome News Tribune