Congratulations to the community

Published 6:21 am Friday, August 9, 2013

I am excited and anxious to welcome the newest corporate resident and business to Bainbridge and Decatur County. Bainbridge Manufacturing is a company that we will all enjoy watching grow and creating many much-needed jobs during that growth.

The new company will be located in the building formerly occupied by Traco at the entrance of the Decatur County Industrial Park. I didn’t catch who made the comment during last week’s Industrial Development board meeting, but I agree with the sentiment that, “Its not the Traco building any longer; now it’s the Bainbridge Manufacturing building.” That really has a nice ring to it.

And, while Bainbridge Manufacturing is a new name for the newly formed Georgia corporation, this is no startup. This is a company with a 30-year lineage of successful operations in the automobile component industry. This is an international company that will call Bainbridge and Decatur County its home and will serve as its headquarters.

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I have been following the recruitment process of Bainbridge Manufacturing for almost a year now. From the beginning, Rick McCaskill, executive director of the Industrial Development Authority, has circled this company as a prospect that we needed to land. And, I couldn’t agree more with McCaskill.

Our community needed a big break. We needed something to get excited about, and we needed something to look forward to. With the agreement signed, sealed, and delivered, we will take a step forward to attracting much-needed, well-paying jobs for Bainbridge and Decatur County.

I attended a company presentation by the owners and operators of Bainbridge Manufacturing held at Bainbridge College a couple of months ago. During that meeting, it was unknown whether or not Bainbridge Manufacturing would locate here. The city of Dublin, Ga., had entered the recruitment picture of Bainbridge Manufacturing late with a very aggressive offer.

While the successful recruitment of a much-sought-after company was a team effort among the IDA, Decatur County, and the City of Bainbridge, two people really stepped up to the plate and made the deal happen the day of the presentation.

Very succinctly, Keith Lyle, chairman of the IDA, asked, “What do we have to do to make the Dublin deal go away?”

The answer was “We will come to Bainbridge if the community can supply us with a building.”

Chris Hobby, Bainbridge’s city manager, responded, “If you are saying that you will come to Bainbridge and no longer consider the Dublin offer, then the City of Bainbridge will make sure you get the building.”

That brief verbal exchange sealed the deal and led to the signed agreement that was approved last Thursday.

Kudos to those two guys for leading the charge to bring 250 jobs to Decatur County and millions of dollars in building investment. What is now a 179,000 square-foot facility will ultimately become a facility with over 1 million square feet.

Thanks to Rick McCaskill and the IDA board, thanks to the Bainbridge City Council, and thanks to the Decatur County Commission for doing what it took to make this a successful recruitment.

And, congratulations to the community for adding a new corporate citizen who will employ hundreds of people.