Citing decreased consumer demand for flooring in the wake of a soft housing market, Shaw Industries said it will close two of its carpet plants in Georgia. Specifically, Shaw plans to close Plant 07, a spun yarn facility in Calhoun, and Plant WL, a filament yarn plant in Valdosta. The closures, which are expected in the next several weeks, will affect about 600 employees, the company said.

“Any time people are affected, it is a difficult decision to make. It is critical, however, that Shaw maintain the best balance of cost and capacity in this challenging economic environment,” the company said in a release announcing the closures. “As the largest manufacturing employer in Georgia, Shaw continues to employ about 18,000 people across the state and many more across the country. The company remains confident about the future of the carpet business for the long term and intends to protect and improve its competitive position and leadership in the industry.”

Shaw said it will work closely with staffers affected by the plant closures. “In addition to placing impacted employees in other Shaw plants when possible, Shaw will also partner with Georgia Department of Labor’s Rapid Response Team to provide on-site one-on-one sessions to counsel employees, explain benefits, and provide out-placement and retraining,” the company said. “Additionally, Shaw will contact regional employers to help identify future career opportunities for affected employees that do not relocate to other Shaw plants.”