More jobs headed to Sumter: Mannington Wood Flooring will expand Epes plant

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 15, 2004

EPES – An expansion will be under way at Mannington Floor Covering in Epes, that could eventually double the number of employees at the Sumter County plant.

Company officials Thursday confirmed an expansion will take place at the Epes facility, which manufactures wood veneers that are then shipped to Mannington’s High Point, N.C. plant and used to create hardwood laminate flooring.

Sumter County Commissioners Monday gave their unanimous approval to offer standard state-approved tax abatements to the company should it decide to expand its Epes facility.

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“We have decided to invest in both facilities and there will be expansions going on in both facilities,” said Betsy Amoroso, the company’s public relations manager based in Mannington’s New Jersey corporate headquarters.

Mannington, said James Mock, director of the Regional Center of Community and Economic Development at the University of West Alabama, told commissioners Mannington’s board of directors was considering an expansion at either its High Point, N.C. or Epes plant.

“Mannington is considering a possible expansion of its operations,” Mock had told commissioners.

That expansion, he said, would take the form of two phases, the first an equipment purchase that could add as many as 30 new jobs and the second, an expansion that could double the Epes facility’s employment numbers.

Amoroso said details of the expansions at both plants were unavailable.

The commission can grant a tax abatement under state law, but the abatement must be granted prior to the purchase of any new equipment or physical expansion.

“We are trying to stay ahead of the ball,” Mock said. “By getting these technicalities out of the way now, we’ll be ready so that Mannington can begin making purchases in the event it chooses to expand at Epes.”

“In addition, we’re hoping that our proactive approach will positively influence them and show them that we want them to expand in our region,” he said.