Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Parkdale Mills, the country's largest manufacturer of spun yarn, will expand its production plants in Rabun Gap, creating 210 new jobs and investing $85 million.
"When a successful Georgia operation like Parkdale Mills decides to expand its facility and its employment roster, it's a win for all concerned, especially for our workforce," Deal said. "The textile industry has deep roots in Georgia and remains a vital part of our manufacturing sector thanks to our strategic location, logistics advantages and the expertise our skilled workers bring to the table."
Parkdale purchased the Hanes Brands facility in Rabun Gap in 2009 and produces fiber for use in high-end, quality active wear that is sold in sports stores. The company will begin installing equipment in early 2014 and anticipates completion by end of that year. Using advanced new technology, the Rabun Gap facility will be converted from a 100 percent cotton T-shirt product line to a polyester/cotton blended yarn for the performance wear business. The 750,000-square-foot facility is located at 815 John Beck Dockins Road, in Rabun Gap. The expansion will occur in two stages, each phase creating about half of the total jobs. The facility will stay in operation at all times, with one plant running while the other is being renovated. Phase II will immediately follow the completion of Phase I.
Hiring is already under way at the company, which anticipates the total project to be completed by the end of 2014.
"The decision to reinvest in Rabun Gap was easy thanks to the community that has given us a warm welcome and the many state and local organizations that have aided our growth," said Lee Thomas, Vice President of Services with Parkdale. "An investment of this magnitude could not take place without their support."
Founded in 1916, Parkdale Mills has grown from a single mill in North Carolina to a cotton giant, with 25 plants in three different countries: the United States, Colombia and Mexico. The company prides itself on a commitment to innovation and an ever-evolving supply chain, providing a better response, better customer service and faster product to market speed.
Project manager Tammy Caudell assisted the company on behalf of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, which partnered with the Development Authority of Rabun County, the County Commission and the local water and sewer authority.
"The economic impact of Parkdale's commitment to this community cannot be underestimated, both in economic and human terms," said Greg James, chairman of the Rabun County Commission. "This company has been one of our foremost corporate citizens over the years, and we are delighted that they have found our Rabun County workforce and our other business advantages the key ingredients for their continued success here."
"By choosing to stay in Georgia, the company is not only adding jobs, but retaining people already working there," said Pat Wilson, chief operating officer of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. "Job retention is part and parcel of economic development -- that's why we have a whole team of regional representatives who focus on assisting existing industries in the state."