Tag Archives: business

Lowndes County Emergency Management Workshop May 5

Received today via the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce. I added a few links from posts in this blog featuring Ashley Tye. -jsq

Lowndes County Emergency Management Continuity of Business Workshop,

You Are Invited to attend the
Lowndes County Emergency Management
Continuity of Business Workshop

On Monday, May 5, from 5:30-6:30 p.m., Lowndes County Emergency Management will host a Continuity of Business Workshop on the second floor of the Lowndes County Administrative Building, 327 North Ashley Street, Valdosta, Georgia. The session will be led by Lowndes County Emergency Management Director, Ashley Tye.

Attendees will receive Continue reading

Nuclear is over —Jeremy Rifkin

Economist, author, and advisor to governments Jeremy Rifkin told an agent of the world's largest uranium field operator at a conference of global investors that there's no business future in nuclear power.

Jeremy Rifkin answered a question at the Wermuth Asset Management 5th Annual Investors Event 26 September 2012, Nuclear Power is Dead,

I don't spend much time on nuclear technology, unless somebody asks me about it, because frankly from a business perspective, I think it's over….

Here's the video, followed by more transcript and discussion.

Nuclear power was pretty well dead in the water in the 1980s after Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. It had a comeback. The comeback was the industry said "we are part of the solution for climate change because we don't emit CO2 with nuclear; it's polluting, but there's no CO2".

Here's the issue though,

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Good thing we didn’t buy a “jail to nowhere”

Still more evidence that private prisons are bad business. If the Industrial Authority won't do due diligence before buying into boondoggles like biomass and private prisons, we'll have to do it for them.

Kirsten Bokenkamp wrote for ACLU Texas 4 April 2012, Nobody wants a “Jail to Nowhere”,

…a number of Texas counties and towns ( the article points to Anson, Littlefield, and Angelina, Newton, Dickens and Falls Counties as a few examples) were sold on the idea that mass incarceration was in Texas to stay. According to the article, most of the privately operated county jails sit less than half full, and guess who is left holding the bill? (Hint – it is not the for-profit prison company).

Meanwhile, we can look askance at anything else that is pushed by ALEC, like private prisons and charter schools are.



Solar projects get community support

What if the Industrial Authority supported industry that had a business model, brought jobs, and had the support of the community? It can happen, and already has!

Citizen Carol wrote for Texas Vox 6 January 2012, Austin Energy drought proofs its energy with new Webberville Solar Project,

Public Citizen says kudos to the City of Austin and Austin Energy for their vision and efforts in completing this project. Given that the State Climatologist is warning us that Texas can expect up to 5 more years of the current drought cycle, this project came just in time to help provide our community with drought–proof electricity during the peak use times — that will come in handy next summer.

Remember we already discovered this right here in Valdosta and Lowndes County? The Wiregrass Solar commissioning was a popular event, with many critics of the Industrial Authority lavishly praising it for the solar plant. Nobody complained about living near a solar installation. How about some more clean industry?



Car part manufacturer locates in Dublin, Georgia

First MAGE SOLAR, now this. Somebody in Dublin and Laurens County, Georgia, is successfully attracting new, clean industry.

A press release Tuesday on the Governor’s website, German automotive supplier to create 178 jobs in Dublin

Erdrich Umformtechnik to invest $39 million in Laurens County, Deal reports

Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Erdrich Umformtechnik GmbH & Co.KG (Erdrich), a German-based automotive supplier, will construct a state-of-the-art metal stamping facility in Dublin in Laurens County. The company will create 178 jobs and invest $39 million in the construction of this plant.

“Automotive industry suppliers find in Georgia the logistics infrastructure, skilled workforce and overall business environment necessary for them to compete globally while meeting the needs of their customers,” Deal said. “I am also encouraged to see yet another German company call Georgia home, indicating even further that our efforts to build and foster international relationships are yielding positive results. Georgia proudly welcomes Erdrich to our state.”

Erdrich is a midsized family-owned company that produces complex metal parts and subassemblies for the automotive industry, and has been in the metal stamping business for more than 50 years. The company has two plants in Germany, one in the Czech Republic and another in China that supplies parts to other automotive supplier companies as well to BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen.

“Following an extensive multistate search for the right U.S. business location for our company, we were delighted to find the right fit in Dublin, Georgia,” said CEO Georg Erdrich. “This very pro-business community met our requirements with respect to logistics to our customers, access for our suppliers, operating costs, workforce and quality of life. The economic development leadership at the state and local level worked closely with us to make our decision based on confidence in the data, the business analysis and the leadership.”

So apparently at least one locality in Georgia is capable of attracting this kind of industry.


Solar surging in Savannah

Near Savannah a couple of doctors are pioneering ways for everyone to profit from solar now. Yesterday, the Driftaway Cafe started serving up with solar.

WJCL and WTGS wrote yesterday, Solar Power Surges in Savannah

A ground breaking project is underway in the coastal empire that harnesses the power of the sun and hopes to pave the way for the future of clean energy. One main part of this project is for everyone to be able to supply their own power.

Clean, sustainable energy has been a hot topic for some time now, especially, energy that doesn’t send our money overseas.

“We need to develop every available source of American energy,” says President Obama.

The problem is that until now alternate sources have been out of reach or too expensive for most of us.

“It’s very important we learn how to harness our own power and how we structure that today is important for future generations,” says Dr. Sidney Smith, co-owner of Lower rates for Customers.

“Lower Rates for Customers” is hoping to do just that. The plan is to make solar power the way of the future and affordable for everyone. They have an all encompassing plan that can have anyone generating their own electricity within 45 days, even if you don’t have the land to put up solar panels.

“We provide you with the place, the hook up, the technology and Georgia power will send you a check to supplement your power bill,” says Dr. Pat Godbey, co-owner of Tabby Power.

Business like the Driftaway Cafe jumped on the chance to get involved.

“Their financial model for the future just struck a nerve with me and I wanted to be a part of it,” says Driftaway owner, Robyn Quattlebaum.

Cheaper, cleaner, and accessible: that’s good business sense!


My job: create environment for jobs —Andrea Schruijer of VLCIA @ LCDP 5 Dec 2011

In a refreshing changes from “jobs, jobs, jobs” as everything, Andrea Schruijer, Executive Director of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA), told the Lowndes County Democratic Party meeting, 5 December 2011, that it wasn’t her job to create jobs, jobs, jobs; it was her job to create an environment that let jobs be created. Towards that end, she announced several new jobs at VLCIA, including a PR and marketing position. VLCIA Chairman Roy Copeland also spoke and helped answer questions from the audience, including about wages, workers, and green industries.

Perhaps not shown is her answer to my question about what does VLCIA do to promote new local industry. I believe she said VLCIA looks to the Chamber of Commerce for incubation, and helps once local businesses are established.

Here’s a playlist:

My job: create environment for jobs —Andrea Schruijer of VLCIA @ LCDP 5 Dec 2011
Andrea Schruijer Executive Director of VLCIA,
Monthly Meeting, Lowndes County Democratic Party (LCDP),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 5 December 2011.
Videos by John S. Quarterman.


Schools serving children in poverty well —Karen Noll

Received yesterday. -jsq
From: Karen Noll
To: chamber@valdostachamber.com
Cc: [many other people]

Dear Mr. Gooding and Chamber of Commerce,

In response to your most recent correspondence, I dare say many ask why the Chamber has such a single focus on an unproven plan with little or no supporting data. Yet again your answers to the many questions about the reasons that the Chamber is acting in this manner are insufficient and demonstrate quite clearly that you are steadfastly working to undermine the very community you claim to support.

Maybe it is my academic background, but I will use data to support my assertions and hopefully rectify some of the misinformation that has been so disruptive to this community, a discussion of a very important issue: the education of our children.

According to the Chamber’s own study, education ranked

12th out of 16 factors in importance to businesses coming to our community. The Chamber’s own survey revealed that a low crime rate and the business friendliness of the local agencies were most important to businesses in 2009.

Our community sadly hosts a large population of children living in poverty, and education is the best avenue to future success. For this reason, I am very pleased to report that our economically disadvantaged students in Valdosta City Schools met or exceeded the expected CRCT scores for the district last year. This is no small feat and we have some very dedicated educators to thank for this achievement.

Furthermore, research shows that “larger district size has been shown to be negatively associated with the achievement of impoverished students” ( Howley, C. 1996). This means that the fantastic achievements of our most disadvantaged students will be reversed in a larger district and all of the hard work of VCS educators will be lost in order to create, as you claim, “one great public school system”.

Two years ago the city school district asked Chamber members to provide input on their Strategic Improvement Plan through an online survey. Only 5.2% of responses came from Chamber members. Valdosta City Schools encouraged input from all stakeholders, yet these Chamber members in large part did not respond. Now the Chamber claims to have THE solution for the schools they had no time for when asked for feedback.

Research consistently shows that bigger does not mean better in education. So, ‘combining our resources’ does not bring more money, better educational outcomes, or cost savings. According to the Lowndes County Board of Education consolidation would put a number of teachers out of work. That would mean fewer customers in local businesses and less tax revenue. In other words, school consolidation would negatively impact our local economy and its businesses.

The Chamber is acting irresponsibly toward this community and the children served by the Valdosta City Schools. I am again appalled by the callousness of this organization, the petty name calling and repeated misinformation. It is crystal clear that CUEE and the Chamber are not interested in what is best for our children.

As a positive and strong community we will rise above the bad apple that misbehaves and move forward because it is the right thing to do, and we will continue to model appropriate behavior to our children. At the same time, we as a community must remember the lesson we have learned today: ‘greed can blind’. We are called to reach out to and to help those in need. We will continue to work together as a community and work toward the brightest future for our children.

Thank you, Mr. Gooding, for reminding us again of the path we are called to take.

Vote No for our children!!

My best wishes to you,
Karen Noll

Why the Chamber Supports Unification —Tom Gooding, Chairman, VLCoC

My opinion is appended. -jsq
Date: Wed, 2 Nov 2011 11:17:00 -0400 (EDT)
From: Tom Gooding <chamber@valdostachamber.com>
Subject: Why the Chamber Supports Unification

Dear Chamber Members:

Some ask why the Chamber supports school system unification, instead of focusing on poverty. The answer is very simple: The Chamber’s mission is to build a strong and healthy community, resulting in job opportunities for our citizens, which addresses poverty. Improving public education is the single most important thing we can do to build a strong community, grow jobs, and reduce poverty.

Valdosta’s business community consistently ranks

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Private prisons —Matt Flumerfelt

Received yesterday. -jsq
Dear Andrea, We spoke not long ago by phone. I just want to let you know that plans to bring in a private prison here are not going to sit well with many of us. In fact, it will most likely bring about a repeat of the recent Biomass issue. I don’t mean we are opposed to it. I mean we are vehemently opposed to it. It seems that Allen Ricketts and the other Board members don’t understand that Valdosta’s citizens don’t want to be informed of, for example, what finished products and raw materials will be stored in the distribution center slated to locate in Valdosta AFTER the contract has been signed. We have a right to know beforehand what kind of facility it is and what will be stored there. Informing us after the fact is not transparency. This is an issue that will continue to be revisited as long as the VLCIA continues to act unilaterally without considering the wishes of those who live here. We don’t want to be presented with a fait accompli. Also, the VLCIA is really not doing due diligence when it continues to court businesses that raise concerns over the ethical standards of the Board itself. Thanks. Matt Flumerfelt