Shaw Industries Group is shifting its residential carpet manufacturing operations in Santa Fe Springs to northwest Georgia in a move that will eliminate 291 local jobs.
The company also is closing a plant in Yuma, Arizona, affecting 249 jobs there, the company said.
Shaw said it already is scaling back work at the two facilities and will cease operations in the first quarter of 2024.
Shaw, which has at least 50 distribution centers throughout the U.S., didn’t cite wages as a factor in the move. Data from Indeed.com shows pay levels are considerably lower in Georgia.
A forklift operator at the company’s Santa Fe Springs facility averages $20.20 hourly, for example, while a worker doing the same job in Dalton earns an average hourly wage of $15.62. And Georgia’s minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is less than half the Golden State’s base wage of $15.50, which will rise to $16 an hour on Jan. 1.
The 440,000-square-foot Cypress operation is 11 miles away and employs about 170 workers.
The company also said it plans to partner with the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency to assist displaced employees in finding work elsewhere.
“We are committed to supporting them during this transition,” said Mark Hartline, vice president of human resources at Shaw.
A wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Shaw supplies carpeting, hardwood flooring, tile, stone flooring and synthetic turf to residential and commercial markets worldwide. The company generates more than $7 billion in annual revenue and employs about 20,000 people.
In 2018, the company announced it was investing $250 million to expand and upgrade a manufacturing facility in Andalusia, Ala. Two years later, Shaw said it would be spending $400 million to expand operations in Aiken County, S.C. — a move that was expected to create 300 new jobs.