EP American Footwear will invest up to $10 million to open its first footwear manufacturing facility at a 13-acre site in Hazlehurst, Georgia, creating 250 jobs over the next three years.
“We are excited to bring manufacturing back to the USA and specifically Hazlehurst,” said Joe Russell, Co-CEO of EPAF. “EPAF will be the largest molded footwear facility in the nation and this will be the first large-volume footwear manufacturer to produce shoes in the U.S. in quite a few years. We chose Hazlehurst as our location primarily due to the local workforce who lost their jobs during the exodus of employers from years past.”
“Georgia’s strong manufacturing infrastructure helps companies such as EP American Footwear thrive and grow,” said Gov. Nathan Deal. “The company’s new facility reflects how Georgia’s competitive assets can yield economic gains for the local community.”
EPAF will utilize Georgia Quick Start, the state’s workforce training program, to provide customized training for its new employees. The company also received assistance from numerous state and local economic development partners.
“This location is coming to fruition thanks to cooperation from the Joint Development Authority of Jeff Davis County, Hazlehurst and Denton, the state of Georgia, the Georgia Department of Economic Development and Georgia Power,” said Ray Wooten, Jeff Davis County Commission Chairman.
“EP American Footwear’s decision to locate in Jeff Davis County is a turning point for the region, which has been disproportionately affected by joblessness over the course of the last decade,” said Chris Carr, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “The company will provide new jobs and opportunity to a workforce that is already well-versed in manufacturing operations.”