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Labor Secretary tours Cartersville brewery

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CARTERSVILLE — U.S. Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta marked Labor Day alongside Anheuser-Busch CEO Joao Castro Neves at the company’s brewery in Cartersville Monday.

The formal gathering, followed by a tour of the plant, recognized local employees’ work to aid the victims of Hurricane Harvey. It coincided with the brewery’s halt of normal beer production to fill cans of water that will be trucked down to disaster sites along the southern coast.

“On this Labor Day, we reflect on how we built our great nation, and how we will rebuild after Hurricane Harvey,” Acosta said. “The miners and the growers, the makers and the builders, the movers and the drivers, make all that we have possible.

To Americans across the nation, including those who are filling nearly one million cans of water for survivors impacted by Hurricane Harvey, today we thank you,” he said to a crowd of about 50 plant workers and members of the media.

Since the hurricane made landfall last weekend, Anheuser-Busch has donated 11 truckloads — over 560,000 cans — of emergency drinking water to communities in Texas and Louisiana. Castro Neves said the company and its employees are grateful that they’re in a position to provide assistance.

“A big part of that support is thanks to the amazing work of our team in Cartersville, Georgia, and our partnership with the American Red Cross,” he said. “We are humbled to play a small part in their relief efforts around the country.”

More than 155,000 cans from the Cartersville brewery went to Arlington, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, last week. In addition to pausing beer production to can water again this weekend, the Cartersville brewery made an additional $1 million commitment to relief efforts as part of the American Red Cross’ Annual Disaster Giving Program.

Anheuser-Busch has also delivered a truckload of water and other supplies directly to its Houston brewery to help affected employees and their communities, Castro Neves said.

The company has a longstanding tradition of providing water and supplies during natural disasters.

Last year, Anheuser-Busch produced and shipped emergency drinking water to areas hit by the California wildfires, the Louisiana floods and Hurricane Matthew. Since 1988, the St. Louis-based brewer has sent over 76 million cans of drinking water to disaster-stricken areas.