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Made in the USA: Expansions, onshoring boom to the economy

Volume 27/Number 26; April 28/May 5, 2014

By Ken Ryan

Climbing out of a deep recession, the U.S. has seen its manufacturing growth outpace that of other advanced nations, with some 500,000 jobs created in the past three years. It marks the first time in more than a decade that the number of factory jobs has gone up instead of down.

Job creation in America is a byproduct of a new economic reality: China is losing its cost advantage. The Boston Consulting Group wrote in a research paper that in 2001 the average hourly wage in China was $0.58; by 2015, it will be $6. Combine that with the high productivity of American manufacturers and low energy costs, and the cost gap will close for most categories of goods to just 7% by 2015, the firm said.

The flooring industry is contributing mightily to this manufacturing growth. Engineered Floors, for example, is in the process of investing nearly $500 million on new facilities over the next five years that, when completed, will make it one of the largest job creators in the Southeast.

“It certainly is a good thing to create jobs, and we are pleased to do that, but the most important thing to remember is our company successfully built a business model and executed it,” said James Lesslie, assistant to the chairman of Engineered Floors. “If you execute, you create profits, which in turn can create jobs, and that is what we are doing.”

By the end of 2014, Engineered Floors will have created 2,000 jobs in less than four years. “That is quite an accomplishment,” Lesslie noted.

Engineered Floors is not the only one. Since it began onshore production of Mannington and Amtico LVT products in 2013, Mannington has seen a 30% increase in jobs at its plants in Madison and Conyers, Ga., with more than 200 additional jobs to be added by the end of 2014.

Mannington is creating new jobs through both capacity building and innovation, building infrastructure for the industry’s first LVT reclamation and recycling program.

The industry’s largest players, Mohawk and Shaw, are also creating jobs by the day. Mohawk continues to expand its 20,000-employee U.S. workforce. For instance, the company’s recent $180 million investment into its Summerville PET facility created 500 new jobs in northwest Georgia. “This is just one example of how Mohawk continues to invest in the American economy,” said David Duncan, senior vice president of marketing and sales operations. “Through Mohawk’s commitment to the safety, well-being and professional development of its employees, the company is working toward the creation of a thriving economy and a skilled workforce.”

Shaw Industries continues to invest, spending more than $300 million in plant operations that generated approximately 600 new U.S. jobs in the past year. Those job gains cut across a variety of product types, including carpet, carpet tile, hardwood and LVT.

It’s not just northwest Georgia where jobs are being created. It’s happening in Lancaster, Pa., too, as Armstrong’s $41 million LVT production line will create more than 60 new positions.

Dal-Tile recently announced plans to build a glazed porcelain and ColorBody tile manufacturing plant and distribution center in Dickson, Tenn. The 1.4-million-square-foot plant is scheduled to open in late 2015 and will be the company’s 11th manufacturing facility in North America. The Dickson plant will add approximately 150 million square feet to its annual capacity and bring hundreds of U.S.–based jobs.

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Mannington expands Amtico Collection of LVT

Calhoun, Ga. – Mannington Commercial, a leader in flooring for commercial interiors, announced on Feb. 12 the launch of 78 new LVT products in its Amtico Collection, expanding the total Amtico Collection to 188 products and redefining the product offering.

After its acquisition of Amtico International last year, Mannington Commercial has built upon the brand strength of the Amtico name and its reputation for luxury, quality of product and service, and European styling to expand its LVT platform as never before.  Continue reading Mannington expands Amtico Collection of LVT

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Mannington appoints Sheehan VP of commercial LVT

CALHOUN, Ga. — Mannington has named David Sheehan vice president of the company’s commercial LVT business. Sheehan will be responsible for the growth of all Mannington Commercial LVT, including Amtico.

“With the acquisition of Amtico International by Mannington, we have become the market leader in LVT as part of Mannington’s strategy of providing choices that work for resilient surfaces,” said Tyrone Johnson, senior vice president of commercial hard surfaces. Continue reading Mannington appoints Sheehan VP of commercial LVT

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March 2012: Mannington acquires Amtico

Volume 26/Number 16; Dec. 17/24, 2012

To bolster its luxury vinyl tile (LVT) business as well as expand its global reach, Mannington Mills has acquired Amtico International for an undisclosed amount.

Based in Coventry, England, the 47-year-old Amtico operates facilities on both sides of the pond and has annual worldwide sales estimated at $180 million with approximately $75 million of that coming from the U.S. Continue reading March 2012: Mannington acquires Amtico

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Mannington acquires Amtico International

Salem, N.J. —In a move that broadens its U.S. manufacturing base and global reach, Mannington Mills announced today that it has acquired Amtico International.

“The acquisition of Amtico is an extremely exciting development for Mannington, as it not only brings a world class organization into the Mannington family, but also expands the company’s global market reach as well as the scope of its domestic manufacturing capabilities,” said Russell Grizzle, President and CEO of Mannington Mills, Inc. Continue reading Mannington acquires Amtico International

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Moran named CEO of Congoleum

Robert Moran

The board of directors of Congoleum today announced that Robert Moran will be replacing Roger Marcus as CEO of the company. Marcus’ contract expires June 30, but it was unclear at press time as to when the actual transition will occur. Moran has reportedly already started with the company.

Continue reading Moran named CEO of Congoleum

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NeoCon 2011: Innovative products take center

CHICAGO—As the commercial market continues on the comeback trail, NeoCon 2011 served as the landscape for many flooring manufacturers to roll out new products, concepts and directions.

Mannington Commercial, for example, unveiled a litany of products, all collaborations with outside designers. One in particular was the Best of NeoCon Gold winner Vivendi Collection, a heterogeneous vinyl sheet developed in conjunction with world renowned design firm HOK and fabrics manufacturer Pallas Textiles. Continue reading NeoCon 2011: Innovative products take center

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NeoCon2010: Commercial market shows signs of life

CHICAGO—After more than a year of feeling the affects of a recession that played havoc with the residential market for nearly four years, the architectural and design community is beginning to see signs of life. That was the prevailing sentiment at NeoCon 2010, which was marked by an uptick in attendance, standing-room-only carpet showrooms, gains in exhibitors and exhibit space and, most importantly, immeasurable optimism. Continue reading NeoCon2010: Commercial market shows signs of life