Beaulieu of America to close Eufaula facility, 190 jobs lost

Beaulieu of America has announced plans to close its Eufaula spun yarn processing facility according to a press release sent late Monday morning.

The Eufaula plant currently employs 190 workers. The closure will occur in the next 60 days.

In August, Beaulieu eliminated 125 jobs from its Eufaula facility, which is located at the Eufaula Industrial Park.

Beaulieu officials stated in the release that closing the plant will help the company “streamline operations and off-set higher raw materials and transportation costs.” Beaulieu, which is based out of Dalton, Ga., employs approximately 5,200 people in 26 facilities.

“Due to reduced sales brought on by the economy plus higher materials costs, we made the decision to consolidate the Eufaula yarn processing capacity to our other facilities that are closer to our carpet mills in Dalton, Ga.,” stated Ralph Boe, president and CEO of Beaulieu, in a press release. He acknowledged the “exemplary performance” of the Eufaula facility.

“We very much appreciate their service to Beaulieu over the years, and we will work to assist in finding new positions for them, and provide opportunities in other sites as available.”

Monday’s announcement is bad news for Barbour County’s struggling economy. The county’s unemployment rate for September was 12.9 percent – significantly higher than the state average of 9.8 percent. Unemployment numbers for October have not been released yet. In September, there were approximately 1,282 individuals in Barbour County who were filing for unemployment.

Approximately 45 percent of the individuals who were previously laid off by Beaulieu lived outside of Barbour County. Several lived in Quitman and Bullock counties. Even with the earlier layoffs, Beaulieu was still one of Barbour County’s largest employers.

Eufaula Mayor Jay Jaxon commented on Beaulieu’s announcement in a press release sent to the Tribune.

“We truly regret the announced closure of Eufaula’s Beaulieu plant on Jan. 13, which wil affect approximately 190 employees,” Mayor Jaxon stated. “As we all know, this comes after a reduction in force of 125 employees earlier this year. The previous separations and now closure of the plant have and will strongly affect families in our six-county area. Many of these employees have been extremely long-term.”

Source: Eufaula Tribune