EP American Footwear has announced plans to open a 13-area molded footwear facility in Hazelhurst, located in Jeff Davis County. Not only will this be EPAF’s first footwear manufacturing facility in the US, but it will be the first shoe manufacturing facility in the US from any large-volume shoe manufacturer. The plant is expected to open in 2014 and will produce approximately 4 million shows each year for retailers such as Wal-Mart. The company plans to add 250 jobs to support the new facility; they will use the Georgia Quick Start training program to provide new employees with customized training.
Hazelhurst has been hard by the recent recession, but this factory could change this town’s outlook dramatically. Joe Russell, CEO of EPAF, said the company chose Hazelhurst specifically because of the high unemployment figures and the mass exodus of employers from the market since 2008. The Georgia Department of Economic Incentives was able to sweeten the deal by offering tax credits and other job creation incentives.Share