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Friday, October 8, 2010 - 7:17am

NE Ga. Textile Plant To Close

A northeast Georgia county will lose nearly 200 jobs with the closure of a carpet fiber plant next month. Now Franklin County officials hope to regroup quickly and re-fill the soon-to-be vacated site.

Beaulieu of America is shutting the doors of its plant in Royston. Company officials say the combination of a down economy and the carpet industry’s move away from using spun yarn led to its decision.

Beaulieu is one of Franklin County’s top-10 employers. County manager Billy Morse says officials are hopeful it won’t take long to move another employer into the plant site.

“This particular site is on a state highway and has rail access and of course I-85 runs right through the middle of Franklin County. So there’s a lot of opportunity there for us and we’re working very hard to attract industry and grow our community.”

Morse says agriculture is the biggest industry for the region, but also with a strong industrial base.

The region’s unemployment rate stands at 9.3 percent, a bit below the state’s 10 percent jobless mark.