January 15, 2014

Hope is on the horizon for the area

For Whitfield County, economic recovery may finally be here.

On Wednesday, IVC US officials confirmed plans to build an $80 million luxury vinyl plank and tile plant in Dalton at the site of the company’s existing vinyl plant. Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce President Brian Anderson said the plant is expected to create 150 to 225 jobs over three years. Construction of the plant is expected to start this spring, and the plant is forecast to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2015.

This marks the latest in a string of announced expansions by major players in the floorcovering industry. All told, these projects promise to create around 2,600 jobs in Whitfield County over the next five years and hundreds more in neighboring counties.

In November, the latest month for which data are available, the unemployment rate in the Dalton metro area, Whitfield and Murray counties, dropped to 9.4 percent. That’s the lowest rate since October 2008.

Now, that unemployment rate is still way too high. And many of the thousands of Whitfield County residents who lost their jobs during the Great Recession still haven’t come back into the workforce, and many who do still have jobs are making no more, and sometimes much less, than they were five years ago.

For many, the good times aren’t back yet. But perhaps we can now see them in the distance. And it seems that the worst is over for Whitfield County.

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  • Citizens of the Week: Joel Hughes, Deanna Mathis and ‘Be a Game-Changer’ campaign team

    This past Wednesday, Shaw Industries associates decided to “change up their game” for the United Way Kick-Off, an annual leadership level meeting that starts off Shaw’s giving campaign for the year.

    August 1, 2014

  • Tax holiday weekend is perfect time to shop

    August means children across the state are headed back to school, and for parents that means it’s time to buy new shoes and clothes for children who have outgrown their old ones. It means it’s time to buy new school supplies, and it may even mean it’s time to get a child a new computer to do their school work.

    July 30, 2014

  • "We’ve had a great ride"

    For 60 years, the Green Spot has been a part of Dalton. It survived long after most other locally owned grocery stores in the area had folded to competition from big chain grocery stores and to big box super stores.

    July 29, 2014

  • Charles Oliver: Traveler from a district in Columbia?

    Jim Gray was traveling out of Orlando International Airport when a Transportation Security Administration officer tried to stop him from boarding his plane.

    July 29, 2014

  • Letter: Children are not the enemy

    We recently read somewhere that our country is at war, not with another nation but with one another.

    July 29, 2014

  • Ensuring the joy of reading

    They’re little, they’re libraries, and best of all, they’re free.

    July 28, 2014

  • Move carefully, but soon

    No one intended for it to happen. No one had any bad motives.
    But during a period of 40 years or more, quite a few people didn’t do enough planning, didn’t have enough foresight to see what all of the development in Dalton would do.

    July 27, 2014

  • Local school systems must bear costs of federal immigration failure

    No word. No warning. Little help.
    That’s what Dalton Public Schools officials received from the federal government when it dropped 30 Central American students into local classrooms last school year.

    July 26, 2014

  • Sacrifices worth honoring

    Members of the Dalton City Council were recently approached by representatives of the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart with a request to declare Dalton a Purple Heart City. Council members indicated they will approve the request.

    July 24, 2014

  • We must do better

    The numbers tell a sad tale.
    Registered voters: 36,843.
    Cards cast: 5,307.
    That means the turnout for Tuesday’s runoffs in Whitfield County was a measly 14.4 percent, according to unofficial results from the Whitfield County elections office.

    July 23, 2014