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Daniel Defense already looking to expand
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Daniel Defense has expansion plans for its Interstate Centre facilities in North Bryan though construction on the first building is not quite complete.

Bryan County Development Authority Chairman Sean Register said at the board’s meeting Jan. 15 that the weapons manufacturer has hired 105 people to work in Bryan County smf looks forward to moving into the new facility soon.

Register also noted plans are in the works for an additional building on the property.

According to Marty Daniel, CEO of Daniel Defense, Inc., the end of March is the expected move in date for the building currently going up, with a grand opening in April.

"We are hoping for a grand opening and a ground breaking at the same time. We’re pretty excited about this new building and continue hiring people every week," Daniel said.

He projected hiring another 75 to 100 people in 2009 in such fields as engineering, programming, equipment operators and assembly personnel for the plant, which makes weapons and weapons parts.

He said hiring is done directly and through the Department of Labor Quick Start program.

Daniel said the company’s growth has tripled each year and they are on target for the same growth this year. One of the reasons for the growth, he said, is weapons manufacturing. Complete weapons are being built, in addition to components, and will be sold through local gun shops.

Being at the Interstate Center location of I-16 and Hwy. 280 in Black Creek is a benefit, Daniel said. It sits near the middle of where most of the DD employees live, with some coming from Brunswick, Metter, Charleston, and Statesboro, as well as Bryan, Effingham, and Chatham Counties.

"If you put a pin in the center of a map that noted where our employees live, Interstate Centre would be in the middle. It’s close to the interstate, but away from the traffic problems of the city. Traffic is a big issue for us," he said.

In other business;

- Amy Coursey, owner of Tax Credit Consultants, LLC presented the board with details about the job tax credit incentives available to Bryan County development. She said Bryan County offers some of "the best incentives" to the industries of manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, processing, telecommunications, research and development and tourism through job tax credit categories like as Georgia Job tax credit, ports activity job tax credit, military zone tax credit, investment and retraining tax credits.

- Vice Chairman Ted Akin noticed a problem with trucks parking everywhere inside of Interstate Centre, even between no parking signs. He suggested putting down a parking pad that would hold around 5 trucks to help with the problem. He also suggested ticketing those who don’t use the pad once it’s in place.

- Resumes are still being considered for the vacant executive director’s position. Once the position is filled, board members said the executive director will begin an intense marketing campaign for Interstate Centre, among other duties.

- Harrowing of Phase III in Interstate Centre is nearly complete, including a 100 acre site pad ready to be built on.

- After a 30 minute executive session regarding personnel, the board voted to change Gwen Strickland’s title from project coordinator to project manager and grant a 10 percent raise.

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