Local and state officials and Mannington Mills representatives break ground on the expansion of the Madison Amtico plant Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013. Photo by Patrick Yost

Local and state officials and Mannington Mills representatives break ground on the expansion of the Madison Amtico plant Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013. Photo by Patrick Yost

By Patrick Yost, Editor

Mannington Mills announced last Wednesday that it would expand its Madison operation and increase its workforce by more than 200 jobs.

In a combined announcement from state economic development officials, county officials and the company, the company said it would invest more than $50 million to expand the Amtico plant in Madison as well as facilities in Conyers and Calhoun. The plant manufactures luxury vinyl tile. Mannington Mills, a Salem, N.J.-based company, purchased Amtico in 2012. The purchase, according to a Mannington Mills press release, “quadrupled” manufacturing capacity of luxury vinyl tile. The company is now “one of the world’s leading manufacturers of fine flooring…” a press release states.

“Mannington’s decision to grow its business here in Georgia is a direct reflection of the high quality of our workforce and the ease of access we provide to its global markets,” Gov. Nathan Deal said in a statement. “These are the most critical components of the portfolio we are building in support of our goal of making Georgia the number one state for business.

The company held a ceremonial groundbreaking Wednesday, with state, company and local officials participating. Work at the plant is scheduled to begin at the end of this year with company officials predicting that it would “significantly increase its local workforce by January, 2015. During the expansion, company officials said, the plant will continue to operate without interruption.

“Morgan County welcomes this new addition at the Mannington facility and we look forward to a long and prosperous partnership,” said Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Ellen Warren. “We appreciate their confidence in our county and their decision to expand their business here. We very much welcome the jobs they are bringing to the county.”

Approximately 60 people work at the Amtico facility. The expansion will double the facility’s physical footprint.

Mannington Mills Chairman of the Board Keith Campbell said the privately owned company placed emphasis on community involvement. “Caring for our communities and being involved in our communities is extremely important.”

“It’s going to mean jobs right here in this community,” Campbell said. “Overall our company is hiring and we are especially hiring in Madison.”

Morgan County was competing with another Mannington facility in High Point, N.C., said Bob Hughes, president, Madison-Morgan Chamber of Commerce and director of economic development. Hughes said prior to the announcement, the Development Authority of Morgan County agreed to issue industrial revenue bonds to Mannington to help fund the expansion. The bonds, Hughes said, will be paid at one-15th increments for 15 years. At the end of 15 years, the property and building will be fully taxable on the county and city tax rolls. Hughes said the company agreed to pay full value taxes to the Morgan County Board of Education during the 15-year term.

He also said the county had agreed to offer at no cost approximately 20 acres of land to Mannington Mills next to the Morgan County Public Safety Complex for the construction of a warehouse and distribution facility. That property would be phased into full value taxation.

The City of Madison, Hughes said, agreed to run any water or gas lines to the facility at no charge and the county agreed to provide grading for a parking lot. The state offered Mannington job tax credits, port tax credits and training incentives.