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October 09, 2015
42 laid off at Parkdale Mills plant
by Shelby Harrell
Apr 05, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Rabun County Development Authority learned that Parkdale Mills, the last remaining textile mill in Rabun County, laid off 36 associates and six contract workers on Monday.

Lee Thomas, vice president of services at Parkdale, said the plant still had about 150 employees.

“This is unfortunate,” he said. “Business has not been great. We struggled up there. The people were great employees, but we’re dealing with a stacked deck. Georgia Power has been the highest cost in all our companies, so we’re just trying to make ends meet.”

During a March 28 meeting, authority member Ashley Martin said he heard the plant was laying off several dozen employees. He added that some of the former Parkdale workers could be qualified to work for A.I.D. Company.

“This is just a piece of information for A.I.D.,” Martin said. “Parkdale is laying off, I think as of Monday, another 50 people. I bet a bunch of those people have transferable skills. They’re cutting down to the bone now. They are well past cutting flesh.”

Parkdale, a private company that has been operating since 1916, is the largest supplier of yarn in the nation.

Multiple voice mails and emails made to production manager Mike Funderburk and plant manager Pete Bridgeman were unreturned as of Tuesday.

Authority project manager Jana Hill said the new Georgia Department of Labor office was prepared for the layoffs.

“The Department of Labor is getting ready to gear up because of that,” she said. “They are planning to have another one of those programs where they have extra training. They are hoping to bring everyone in to launch one of those big efforts.”

Authority member Tim Darrah said he wasn’t sure how many people were employed at Parkdale.

“I heard about 100 worked there and that