A Shaw Industries yarn plant in Tifton is letting go one-third of its workforce. Around 200 employees will lose their jobs by the end of November. Shaw blames the layoffs on the downturn in the housing industry as well as changes in how some carpets are made.
Brad Day is the President of the Tift Area Chamber of Commerce. He says they have been concerned about the plant for over a year as they watched Shaw close several plants around the Southeast. He says this will have a major impact on unemployment in Tift County.
"We had just seen a drop from 11.6% to 10.6%. Unfortunately this layoff will probably see that rate go even higher."
Day will meet with his First Focus Crisis Response Team on Friday. They will talk about ways to help displaced employees and how to bring new companies to the area. In the last 18 months two other plants in Tifton have closed taking 450 jobs from the community of 45-thousand.