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Masland expansion adds 14 jobs to Atmore area

By By PAUL KEANE, PUBLISHER
A slight change to better meet facility needs at Masland Carpets has resulted in 14 new jobs for the Atmore area.
A little more than a month ago, Masland decided to transfer its custom sample department from its Saraland facility to the Atmore facility. Workers at the Saraland facility were relocated within that facility, and 14 new jobs were created at the Atmore location due to the move.
With no loss of jobs -- and the actual creation of new jobs -- Masland can now claim a small expansion in the Atmore area. All 14 jobs have now been filled, with one coming as part of a transfer from the Saraland facility.
The Saraland facility now utilizes the former custom samples part of its building as additional storage space as part of its distribution center.
Custom sampling facilities such as the one available here in Atmore allow companies to produce special sample palates for customers. It requires smaller loom and serves as a way to allow custom carpets to be offered without the added expense of producing huge rolls of the product before it is sold.
The mini-expansion now means Masland employees a total of 409 employees at the Atmore plant, and Whitener says future expansions cannot be ruled ou;t.
Whitener said his plant does most of its business in two categories -- commercial carpet and residential carpet. While the residential division has been steady, he said there has been a drop in the commercial sector as businesses and industries are now being "more frugal" with capital expenditures.
That could change, though, if a large automotive supplier or other industry were to relocate to Atmore, especially as part of the new industrial park being developed along the interstate by the City of Atmore.