Coats & Clark to add jobs

ALBANY -- More employment opportunities will be heading to Albany soon.

The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission announced Monday that Coats & Clark will relocate its North American distribution hub to Albany, expanding its current distribution operations in the area and adding up to 25 new jobs.

"We welcome this additional investment by Coats and are proud that Georgia workers will continue to have the opportunity to contribute to this global company's success," said Ken Stewart, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, in a statement. "Coats' decision to expand in Albany is a strong testament to the region's superb work force and its strategic location for commerce."

Coats & Clark will lease a 280,000-square-foot area on Holly Drive to consolidate its distribution operations. The company will hire up to 20 workers by the end of 2010 and add up to five more as it completes its expansion.

Area officials say the project has been in the works for some time, and they are excited about bringing more jobs to Albany.

"We're thrilled," said Barbara Rivera Holmes, spokeswoman for the Albany-Dougherty EDC. "The fact they are consolidating their services here says a lot. This is always good news when you have a business relocating to the community."

Jeff Thompson, director of human resources for Coats & Clark North America, said the distribution hub is already partially in operation. The company expects it to be fully functional by January.

"We are excited about the decision," he said. "After a lot of research, Albany proved to be a strategic location. We've had a great working relationship with the people in Albany."

Coats & Clark's Albany distribution center supports the yarn/consumer customer base for North America. It is located in close proximity to the company's Albany manufacturing location on Clark Avenue. The facility currently employs more than 300 workers, whose jobs will not be affected by the expansion.