ANDALUSIA, AL (WSFA) - It was mighty cold in Covington County Wednesday morning but big numbers made everyone feel warm and fuzzy at Shaw Industries.
“This is a momentous occasion," said plant manager Ron Fantroy.
The company is spending $250 million to expand, much of which is already taking place right now; a new wing, welders at work, making room for the high-tech machines on the way. Shaw makes carpets and flooring.
“The technology is changing in this part of our business with production of fibers that customers want in the carpets we produce," said Shaw Industries Executive Vice President David Morgan.
Gov. Kay Ivey made the trip down south and applauded the company’s move to keep the local economic engine humming. Shaw’s been in Andalusia since 1982.
“And we talk about building a shared momentum, this is how it’s done," said Ivey.
Shaw employs 1,200 people. That makes it the largest employer in the county.
Danny Taylor is a 31-year veteran of Shaw Industries.
“We’re happy to step up and have a can-do attitude to make sure we were successful in what we do," said Taylor.
A quarter-of-a-billion dollars won’t necessarily mean more jobs but it does assure Covington County of one thing; Shaw Industries isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
“This is a red-letter day," said Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson.
A red-letter day, indeed, for Covington County and one community leaders look forward to many more years with their corporate neighbor. So far it’s 36 years and counting.
Company leaders say the expansion won’t be finished until the end of 2020, because it will take awhile to phase in the large machines.