Taurus USA relocation should make Decatur County proud

Published 5:22 pm Friday, April 13, 2018

To the residents of Bainbridge and Decatur County, you should feel proud.

After attending the historic event on Thursday announcing that Taurus USA would relocate their headquarters and manufacturing facility to Bainbridge, it has been hard to not be bursting with pride and excitement.

Not only did a world-class international company make the decision to call our community home, but also this relocation is just the beginning of a rebirth for Bainbridge and Decatur County.

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During the announcement, the auditorium at the Kirbo Center was filled to capacity. While some of the people in attendance were there in an official capacity, there were many more there just to show support and to welcome Taurus to our community.

I can say without doubt that the Taurus executives, including both the Chairman of the Board and the CEO, were overwhelmed and surprised by the showing of support. Your showing of support during the announcement was a huge confirmation to the Taurus executives that they certainly made the correct choice.

In the grand scheme of the economic development sales cycle, this was a relatively short process for Bainbridge at roughly 18 months, but the relationship between state recruiters and Taurus leadership began 15 years ago.

When the local development team jumped into the process, there was little doubt that the recruitment process would lead to this moment. The collaboration and teamwork between the City of Bainbridge, Decatur County, and the Industrial Development Authority was top-notch and culminated with what we all saw Thursday.

While every member of every group listed above played a part in making this happen, there are some individuals that I would like to point out.

Rick McCaskill, Executive Director of the IDA, Bainbridge City Manager Chris Hobby, Decatur County Administrator Alan Thomas, and IDA Chairman Keith Lyle spent countless hours over the past 18 months working this project, coordinating visits, and tending to details.

During the initial site visit with the Taurus executive team last summer, the coordination and attention to detail was unbelievably precise. So much so that that prospect visit has set the benchmark for how such a visit should go, according the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

That level of professionalism carried over to the announcement event on Thursday. I had the opportunity to spend some time with several representatives from the state economic development office and they were very complimentary of how the event was handled.

Not only did the work done by our local leadership result in Taurus becoming our newest industry, but also it changed how Atlanta views Bainbridge and southwest Georgia. As one of the state recruiters told me, this is not the last time they will be in Bainbridge for such an announcement. In fact, there are several more projects in the works currently.

To the Taurus leadership, I just want you to know that you made the correct decision to join our community. We will not let you down and we will have success together in Bainbridge.

To our local leadership, thank you for the work done and the collaboration to make this happen. We needed this shot in the arm, you did what it took to provide that shot.

Welcome to Decatur County, Taurus USA.