Shaw to shutter Clinton flooring plant

Shaw Industries announced Monday that it will be closing its Clinton-based operation in late August.

The hardwood-flooring factory, located on Torrington Road, will close on Aug. 24. About 120 employees are expected to either be relocated to one of the company’s other facilities or lose their jobs.

In a release from Shaw, company executives said the move to close the Clinton plant is being made to “most effectively meet customer needs.” Shaw will move production to other plans in the Southeast, according to the release.

Laurens County Development Corporation Executive Director Jonathan Coleman said his agency is already working to find new opportunities for displaced Shaw workers.

“As far as the county is concerned, we’re working hand in hand with the state to help these people,” Coleman said. “We’ve had several local employers reach out to us, and we’re putting together a job for for those effected, so we’re going to do everything we can to get those people transitioned to other jobs within the county.”

Shaw, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. based in Dalton, Georgia, bought Anderson Hardwoods in 2007. The company manufactures flooring materials, including carpeting, laminate and hardwood and operates some 40 plants primarily in the Southeast.

“Supporting associates during this transition is our highest priority,” said senior director of human resources Mark Hartline in a statement. “As we realign our manufacturing operations, we will help associates identify new job opportunities at Shaw and in the region.”

At the time of the sale to Shaw, Anderson employed around 500 people. According to news reports, that move came immediately after Shaw rival Mohawk Industries acquired four plants from another major hardwood flooring company.

The closure of the Clinton plant comes two months after Shaw announced it will be shutting down another South Carolina facility in Clinton. Around 250 employees lost their jobs following that closure.

According to a 2015 statement by the company, Shaw then employed more than 1,500 people at seven plans across South Carolina.

Coleman said the LCDC will work with Shaw employees on potential retraining for future careers as several new industries plan investments in the county.

The large flooring plant, which is estimated at over 100,000 square feet, also gives the county another asset it can offer future industry investors, Coleman said.

“We have a lot of people looking for employees, so I think we should be able to find plenty of opportunities to help those displaced workers,” he said.

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