Daniel Defense has been welcomed into the Bryan County business community, as the newest company to hold a groundbreaking in the Interstate Centre.
Development Authority Chairman Sean Register said it was a "good day for Bryan County," during the event Thursday.
Marty Daniel, CEO and founder of the company that started up three years ago, said they have 55 employees at their current building in Garden City, which they’ll expand to about 100 by the time they open their doors. His wife and vice president of finance, Cindy, said the building will be completed in the spring of 2009.
"We’re excited about bringing this facility to Bryan County and we’re excited about our growth," Marty Daniel said.
Register said the Development Authority likes to see new companies coming to the Interstate Centre, "but it’s extra special when a local company expands here."
Daniel Defense markets parts for small arms, which came about when Daniel created a mechanism that attaches to the barrel of a machine gun to keep it cool – critical for any soldier.
"The first idea came along to take a sling loop off the rear of a rifle and put it where it really should be," Daniel said, noting he started off selling the part to U.S. soldiers. "Since then, we’ve developed a line of 40 or 50 parts. We’ve landed major contracts…with U.S. Special Forces and the latest is a contract with the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense, where we’re upgrading their defense rifle systems."
Congressman Jack Kingston attended the groundbreaking and noted the U.S. defense system is not in great shape.
"I’m on the defense sub-committee," he said, "and when soldiers overseas have to fix their weapons themselves, and pay for it out of their own pockets, there’s something wrong…the American spirit is fine and healthy but the bureaucracy is broken."
Daniel said he’s been working with DA Executive Director Jean Bacon for a long time. While the company didn’t originally have enough funding to purchase a site in the Interstate Centre, Bacon continued to work with them until they did, he said.
DA board member Steve Croy said Bryan County "is now in the crosshairs of our competition," and the county is becoming a more obvious consideration for businesses looking to locate in southern Georgia and the southeastern U.S. in general.
"This is good jobs with good pay," Croy said.
Cindy Daniel noted most of their positions are on a salary scale of $50,000 to $100,000.
"We’re hiring right now," Marty Daniel said. "By 2009, we hope to have about 100 employees so we’re encouraging local residents to apply now."
Bryan County Commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed said the Interstate Centre is all about "jobs, jobs, and more jobs."
"The business you’re locating here is what we want," Burnsed said. "We are looking forward to this fantastic building being here."
Marty Daniel listed positions such as machine programmers and operators, engineers, assembly line workers who are good with their hands and one marketing position as current openings. They have a brief listing on their website, www.danieldefense.com, and interested applicants can call 866-554-GUNS or send an email through the website to find out more information about employment opportunities and product information.