In an aim to cut back on the production of certain types of carpet in a softening market, Shaw Industries Group announced it plans to close Plant 76, a spun yarn facility in Trenton, Ga. The closing of the plant, which is expected for the middle of November, will effect about 440 employees. The company noted that it will work with plant staffers to help them find new employment, either with Shaw or at other companies.

"On behalf of the entire Shaw Industries family, I want to thank the employees of the Trenton plant and the surrounding plant for your years of dedicated support and service," said Hal Long, exec vp operations. "We are extremely proud of our Trenton associates and want to assure them that this decision does not come lightly."

Shaw said it will "work dilligently" to help displaced employees find new employment. This includes efforts to place the staffers at other Shaw plants, and partnering with the Georgia Department of Labor for on-site job counseling and retraining. The company said it will also organize job fairs with regional employers to assist former staffers in finding new employment.

Long said the decision to close the plant was made partly because of a sharp drop in demand for carpets made using spun yarn. "The widely publicized downturn in the housing market has caused consumer demand to fluctuate and shift," he said. "Changing customer preferences in the market necessitate that the company respond to emerging purchasing trends and decrease its production in areas experiencing significant declines."