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Industries expand in nearby counties
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Two industries are expanding in neighboring Morgan and Walton counties, creating hundreds of future jobs for area residents.

Mannington Mills in Madison

Gov. Nathan Deal announced that floor-covering manufacturer Mannington Mills is planning to expand its plant in Morgan County and create 219 new jobs.

Deal says the company is planning to invest $50 million in the expansion.

The company manufactures vinyl, rubber and porcelain tile, hardwood, laminate, carpet and more.

Officials say the company is essentially doubling the size of its facility and expects to quadruple its manufacturing capacity. The company expects to break ground by the end of the year.

The company plans to fill new positions by January 2015.

Hitachi in Monroe

Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas Inc. broke ground Friday on an expansion of its operations in Walton County and is expected to create 250 new jobs and invest $80 million.

The expansion will require an additional 290,000-square-foot facility adjacent to its current two buildings, Gov. Nathan Deal said in May in a written statement. The company’s current facility, formerly Unisia of Georgia Corp., was established in Monroe in 1996.

The facility employs about 300 full-time and 75 part-time workers. The plant produces valve timing mechanisms, propeller shafts and power-steering systems for numerous automakers, and has been offered assistance from the workforce training program Georgia Quick Start, state officials said earlier this year.

Nancy Kinsey, executive director of the Development Authority of Walton County, said in an email that the investment could be closer to $130 million.

"Walton County and its workforce deserve a lot of credit for providing a progressive, business-friendly, work-ready environment that invites existing industries to keep investing there," Deal said in May.

"We’ve been able to bring additional business to Georgia because of a strong workforce, and based on our past history, a strong relationship with Walton County and the local community," said Michael Schoon, director of finance for Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, in a written statement in May.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.