CagleHear Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle
When considering relocating a business to one state or another, Development Authority Chairman Sean Register says to "compare economic apples to apples – and then pick the peach."
This play on the Georgia peach was one of Register’s closing remarks to attendees of the opening ceremony of the Industrial Centre Thursday evening.
More than 220 local and state officials and members of the business community from around Georgia came to celebrate the official opening and ribbon cutting at Bryan County’s industrial park in Black Creek.
"I’ve come to know Bryan County as the sweet spot of Georgia and I think this park is an integral part of that. This is just the beginning," said Commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed, pointing out the park’s first tenant was German-based Oracal, who made Bryan County its U.S. headquarters in January.
David Grant, VP of Marketing for Oracal, was here when they put the first shovel in the ground for the park.
"It signaled the lengths that the Bryan County would go to make us feel welcome and wanted," Grant said. "Quite frankly, that was why we located here versus elsewhere. Not only could we see all the good things this area has to offer, but also the logistical access that will allow us to continue growing right here."
Development Authority member Steve Croy welcomed Lt. Governor Casey Cagle as the guest speaker. Cagle said Georgia is the "capital of the South" because of it offers everything necessary for a great workforce.
"Jobs are how people experience the American dream," he said. "Here in Bryan County, you have planted a seed that will have great opportunity that will create hope for so many individuals in this community."
Daniel Defense, a company that makes weapon tools and parts, is one of the newest companies to join Phase I of the center, just recently having purchased a lot.
"We think this location is great," Marty Daniel said. "The company is moving from Garden City and we’ve got 30 employees right now. Bryan County is central for everyone."
Marketing Assistant Jessica Smith with THS Constructors came down from Atlanta to see the center for the first time.
"I’m very excited and I was really impressed with what there is to offer," she said after a tour.
Pembroke Mayor Pro-Tem Johnnie Miller said the park is a great start to an economic boost for the city and surrounding areas.
"With our prime location – not far from the ports, close to interstates and railroads and great communities – we are a perfect area for more companies to come to," he said.
Register said the success of the center can be attributed to great leadership on the local and state level. In addition to his board of directors, which he described as a group with a "let’s make it happen" attitude, he additionally thanked Ed Bacon and former DA Chairman Frank DuBose for being ‘honorary’ members of the board.
Here’s some numbers for the local workforce:
Bryan County has a population of 26,340 and a workforce of 12,327, or about 47 percent. Bulloch County has a population of 58,360 and a workforce of 29,685, or about 50 percent and Chatham County has a population of 235,270 and a workforce of 117,040, or 49 percent.
-Mindy Boyette contributed to this story.