May 9, 2013

More welcome economic news

The Daily Citizen

— Following the revelation that Engineered Floors will expand in the area and its promise of creating 2,000 jobs comes more good economic news, that a company called Mattex plans to build an extrusion manufacturing plant in Murray County. And that news comes with an outlook of creating 200 jobs during the next three years.

With unemployment in the metro Dalton area — Whitfield and Murray counties — at 10.3 percent, that is welcome news indeed.

Mattex Group, a Dubai and Saudi Arabian carpet backings producer, plans to invest $60 million in the new plant in Eton over the next three years. The plant is expected to be between 275,000 and 375,000 square feet. Plans are to start construction this summer and operations to begin in 2014.

If the name Mattex sounds familiar that may be because the company has a warehouse in Calhoun under the name Mattex USA. The Murray County site will be the company’s U.S. headquarters.

The company is planning for a state-of-the-art facility to make polyolefin-based textiles as well as carpet and artificial grass backings and woven and nonwoven geotextiles.

Although the announcement of the investment came from Gov. Nathan Deal’s office, credit was given to others for working out the development, including Murray County government and the Murray County Industrial Development Authority in partnership with the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

The decision to build a plant in Northwest Georgia is another indicator that manufacturers know the value of investing here, taking advantage of a trained workforce plus all the transportation opportunities the location offers.

Brittany Pittman, sole commissioner of Murray County, said, “Murray County has been hit tremendously hard during the recent economic downturn but this announcement solidifies that we are going to persevere to be recognized as a competitive and business friendly community.”

We applaud that mindset and those efforts. And we hope more announcements of job creation in the metro Dalton area are still to come.