Why Engineered Floors Chose Whitfield County for the World’s Largest Carpet Plant
Whitfield County, GA
In 2010, industry veteran Bob Shaw (founder of Shaw Industries, the largest carpet manufacturer in the world) founded Engineered Floors in Dalton, Georgia. Known as the “Carpet Capital of the World,” Dalton provided an ideal location for Shaw’s newest company, which is now the third-largest carpet company in North America. In 2013, Engineered Floors had more than 1,400 employees and Mr. Shaw announced a $450 million expansion to build two new manufacturing complexes over five years that could employ as many as 2,000 workers.
A native of Dalton and an industry veteran, Bob Shaw knew firsthand the benefits of operating in Whitfield County and the surrounding area. From Georgia’s rich history in textile manufacturing and its role as an industry leader—the state represents more than 70 percent of the nation’s carpet and rug mill manufacturing jobs—to its business environment and existing infrastructure, Whitfield County provided an ideal location for Engineered Floors’ continued growth.
“As a native of the area, Mr. Shaw knew the many benefits of the community, including a strong infrastructure and workforce that could support his company’s growth and goals,” says Carl Campbell, executive director for economic development at the Dalton Whitfield Joint Development Authority.
Once completed, the plant will be the second-largest building in the state of Georgia, and the largest carpet manufacturing plant in the world.
With training programs through Georgia Northwestern Technical College, Whitfield County offers businesses a qualified workforce, many with experience working in manufacturing. Manufacturers can also take advantage of the region’s infrastructure, from access to interstates and rail, to existing water infrastructure that can be used for projects that need water cooling.
The new Whitfield site, a $350 million investment, is now under construction. At 1.9 million square feet and still growing, the plant has already begun operations and employs roughly 1,000 workers in a range of roles, from extrusion and tufting to finishing and distribution. The yarn and production processes used at the plant save time, water and energy—Engineered Floors manufactures its carpets on-site, and from there ships the final product directly to customers. Once completed, the plant will be the second-largest building in the state of Georgia, and the largest carpet manufacturing plant in the world.
“Dalton is the third-largest manufacturing community in the state of Georgia, but we are not the third largest community in Georgia,” says Campbell. “Our heritage makes it very easy for manufacturing companies to be successful here. We’re happy to have Engineered Floors as part of our community.”
Did You Know?
Engineered Floors’ unique manufacturing process uses polymers that are already color dyed—saving water, energy and labor that is normally used for dyeing processes. This new process provides a great value product for the industry.