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New, large employer signs training pact
State and local officials, and representatives of Firth Rixson and other regional businesses, post for a photo during the ceremony. Seated are, from left, Jackie Rohosky, Quick Start assistant commissioner , Chris Bohlmann, Firth Rixson vice president and general manager, and Dr. Kathy Love, Savannah Technical College president. - photo by Photo by Seraine Page
The Liberty County Development Authority hosted the official signing of the training agreement between Firth Rixson Forgings, LLC, and Georgia Quick Start during a ceremony Thursday. Under the agreement, 200 jobs reportedly will be created at the new Firth Rixson plant in Midway.
Firth Rixson, which is based in the U.K., makes highly engineered, forged and specialty metal products. The new 200,000-square-foot facility in the Tradeport East Business Center will be Firth Rixson’s fourth closed-die forging facility worldwide and the most significant expansion in the history of the company, according to the company’s website.
Local and state officials, including Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas and State Sen. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler, along with employees from Firth Rixson, Georgia Quick Start and the LCDA attended the signing ceremony.
The training partnership through Georgia Quick Start will develop training material and provide classes for instruction geared toward training the 200 new Firth Rixson employees, said Jan Melcher, regional director of Georgia Quick Start.
“It will provide real stability in the work force here,” Melcher said of the new partnership.
She also said the training is custom-designed to meet the needs of the new company and that employees will gain skills to bring with them from job to job.
“We work hand-in-hand with their work expertise,” she said.
Georgia Quick Start provides customized workforce training free-of-charge to qualified businesses in Georgia, according to its website.
“We really designed a program that starts out with some cores skills — a lot of safety training involved in that,” said Eddiea Fite, team project manager for Quick Start. “We’re doing a lot of in-depth training with people.”
Firth Rixson is also still hiring workers to be trained for various positions, said Chris Bohlmann, Firth Rixson vice president and general manager.
“It is really with great pleasure today that we’re here to sign the training program and really it is a work force development program for our company,” he said. “We’re going to grow for some period of time in this community and we’re really looking forward to that.”
Bohlmann expects the facility construction to be completed in December. 
Training also will involve Savannah Technical College students who will assist Firth Rixson employees with ongoing programs, according to a press release from Georgia Quick Start.
Bohlmann, Savannah Technical College President Dr. Kathy Love and Quick Start assistant commissioner Jackie Rohosky signed the partnership papers, stopping briefly to pose for photographs between shuffling pages of the agreement.
Firth Rixson serves customers worldwide in market sectors such as aerospace, defense, power generation, transportation, petrochemical, medical and general industrial. Firth Rixson owns 11 operating facilities in North America, Europe and Asia, according to its website.

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