A scheduled guest didn’t show up and an unscheduled guest did, about broadband. Perhaps 250 jobs from a prospective logistics distribution Project Royal and a potential agriculture-related Project Orange. Express Scripts brought 135 jobs last year and now are adding 175 jobs. Executive Director Andrea Schruijer emphasized the importance of existing industries in generating jobs and capital investment. She’s also discovered agriculture is 13% of Georgia GDP and 10% of that is grown in our region.
Next VLCIA meeting will be noon Thursday May 20th because of a trip to Atlanta later that same day. They may be in their “new digs” by then, and Building-Committee-UpdateChairman Mary Gooding promised an open house once they were moved in.
Here’s the agenda, with links to the videos, and a few notes.
Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority
Thursday, April 15, 2014 5:30 p.m.
Industrial Authority Conference Room
2110 N. Patterson Street
- Call to Order
Video. Chair Mary Gooding welcomed the distinguished guests, who were Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter, VDT Reporter Matthew Woody (here’s his article in the VDT the next day), and Gretchen for LAKE.
Mr. Gupton prayed about rain.
- Welcome Guests
They already did this out of order.
Video. The CPA on April 15th said they were $25,000 under budget on marketing and public relations (not over as the sheet in front of them apparently said). And they were $54,000 under budget on the millage, but he didn’t think they should adjust their budget downwards. The board unanimously accepted the financial statements.
Video. S. Meghan Duke wasn’t present so Executive Director Andrea Schruijer gave this report.
- Public Relations Opportunities
- Georgia Manufacturing Appreciation Week, April 14-18
- GA Trend – 2014 Industry Outlook
- Trade & Industry Development Editorial: Short List – America’s Top Sites
Board member Roy Copeland wanted to know how that happened. A: They ( http://www.tradeandindustrydev.com/) selected us, on basis of criteria such as I-75, education,
3 certified industrial parks, etc.
Further question: how is editorial written?
A: They interview us.
Q: Also other “key industrial leaders”, or just VLCIA?
A: Usually just VLCIA, but will ask.
Mary Gooding wanted to know if the editorial could be printed up as a flyer.
A: Of course.
- Site Selection Magazine – Shovel Ready Sites
- Google Small Business Virtual Workshop: Expand Your Online Presence
- Content Marketing Program: Print, Digital, Online, and Mobile – Journal Communications
- Marketing Opportunities
- South Georgia Classic- April 2-May 4
End of April, beginning of May, eight guests so far. Will have EMCs, MEAG, Georgia Power, tourism, marketing, and film with community tours that Thursday.
- GDEcD Fly-In- April 4th
First-ever fly-in of 7 or 8 project managers, with 10-15 minutes on each [industrial] park. Plus Brooks County and Cook County. And at Steeda for lunch, plus tour of Steeda facility.
- Real Estate Marketing
They “conceptualize” how a business would look in one of the business parks by showing prospective businesses graphic depictions of potential buildings, parking, etc.
- Food Processing Marketing Collateral
- GEDA Spring Workshop Mobile App
- Project Maroon
- Project Royal
Logistics distribution; company wants to be along I-75. Around 250 jobs max.
Also a Project Orange, “a significant agricultural-related project”. Hosted two state project managers and a site manager; showed them potential sites inside and outside business parks. The board showed great interest in whatever they could do to move those projects along.
- Existing Industry Visits
Doing pruning for visibility for truck traffic.
Express Scripts project from last year brought 135 good-paying jobs with benefits. Now moving ahead with 175 more hires.
- Existing Industry Expansion Projects
- Project Wire
Automotive components. Financial capital in place for the project; refining building plan.
- Project Treadway
Logistics distribution service project; still in negotiation for leases and such.
- Project PowerTech
Advanced manufacturing. Local company has possible $1.2 million expansion for about 18 jobs (wasn’t clear whether new or existing jobs).
- Project Loaf
New logistics distribution project looking at “one of our industrial parks”. After 7 months, finalizing contract. About 11 jobs and $1 million capital investment.
- Project Cold
Local company seeking to expand food processing operation. In due diligence with property owner about expansion.
- Community Business and Industry Partnership
Hosted “some of our existing business and industry leadership” 18-29 March 2014.
Also did a lunch and learn about broadband capability. About 25 people and Chairman Slaughter attended.
- Chairman Slaughter
Video. Meeting was about expanding existing broadband infrastructure, “especially on the industrial side”.
Video. Aiming for occupancy in May. Fancy timeline for fixtures, furniture, equipment, telecommunications, electricity, landscaping, and every other detail. Chairman Mary Gooding said There will be an open house “to see the new digs”.
Video. She emphasized importance of existing industries, including recent 294 new jobs and $15.2 million capital investment.
She goes to Atlanta a lot. She and Mary Gooding were “thrilled” that the city of Valdosta and Lowndes County also send people along.
- Business Development Opportunities
- Consultant Connect Program in Dallas, TX
- Georgia Department of Economic Development – Centers of Innovation Director, Bo Warran.
- Recruitment Activities
- South Joint Regional Development Authority – South Georgia Classic April 2-May 4
- Board Work Session – May 20-21, 2014
- Leadership Georgia Program in Valdosta, Georgia
- South Georgia Fly-In April 4th
- Attended Food Manufacturing and Automation Tradeshow April 5-9, 2014
“I’m sure Gretchen knew that” out of Georgia’s gross domestic product 13% is agriculture-related and 10% of that is grown in our region.
Mary Gooding asked for a list of food processing industries. Coggins Farms with carrots, green beans, sweet potatoes, etc. South Georgia Pecan is the largest pecan processor in the world, over 100 million a year. Martin’s Famous Pastries. ADM produces oil and pet foods. Fresh Beginnings has 85 employees in the bakery and 700 others. Sunnyland.
- By Law Presentation by Staff Attorney
Video. No attorney presented anything; Chairman Mary Gooding referred everybody to a highlighted copy of the bylaws in front of them.
Video. PowerTech is Saft America and working on a 6 year $1.2 million expansion involving 18 full-time employees.
Andrea Schruijer said SAFT had been here a long time, was hurt by the recession, went down to about 160 employees, got back up to normal 200 last year, now up to 225.
Board unanimously approved executing agreement.
Video. Gretchen said she was always excited about food stuffs, so she was glad to see them talking about that.
He wasn’t there.
- May Meeting Time change
Video. Due to trip to Atlanta later that same day, Tuesday 20 May 2014 board meeting at noon.
Mission of the Valdosta Lowndes County Industrial Authority
“Create an environment to attract new industry and promote the growth of existing industry to drive job creation and capital investment.”
Here’s a video playlist:
Videos: Golf, aviation, and by-laws
Regular Meeting, Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA),
Tom Call, Roy Copeland, Mary Gooding, Chairman, Jerry Jennett, Andrea Schruijer, Executive Director, J. Stephen Gupton, Attorney, Tom Davis, CPA, Allan Ricketts, Project Manager,S. Meghan Duke, Public Relations & Marketing Manager, Lu Williams, Operations Manager,
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 15 April 2014.