McCaskill gives update on Taurus USA job fair, Bainbridge Manufacturing

Published 3:59 pm Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Tuesday afternoon, Development Authority Director Rick McCaskill provided an update to the Rotary Club on the Taurus plant, Bainbridge Manufacturing and other job opportunities that are developing in Bainbridge.

McCaskill began by suggesting everyone ride by the Commodore Industrial Park and see what has been going on.

“Taurus is up,” he said. “We have a lot to do to get it completed, but it has 180,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 25,000 square feet of office and national headquarter space.”

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McCaskill praised the city for their hard work in helping the Development Authority with this massive undertaking. He also made a nod to the fact of how fortunate everyone is that local contractor, Bates and Associates, took on this project and has worked so quickly and efficiently to get it moving on time, especially with the intricacies Taurus will require.

“There will be an indoor firing range,” McCaskill said. “They will have to figure out how to get rid of the gasses being discharged by the firearms on the ranges.”

McCaskill said another interesting bit of information is that a supplier for Taurus is now planning to move here. They have looked at two different properties and are deciding where to locate.

McCaskill was a little concerned about there not being enough people to fill all these positions due to the unemployment rate being the lowest in 50 years, but at their most recent job fair, he was surprised to see between 750 to 800 people in attendance.

“It was very successful,” he said. “Taurus was very high on the number of people they talked to and they said they would have no problem staffing their plant.”

Taurus’ call center, which is located at the old Copeland Insurance Building in Bainbridge, has already hired 30 employees and is filled to the brim. McCaskill said they are unable to fit another desk in there.

McCaskill said when Taurus members originally looked into moving their headquarters here, approximately 60 percent of them wanted to live in Tallahassee, but after exploring, only three people currently still want to live there. McCaskill believes this is due to the realtors and their fantastic job of showing off the city and what it has to offer.

McCaskill also discussed other projects happening at the Industrial Park, such as Harrell Ag Products, who is developing semi-truck trailers to carry peanuts in instead of wagons.

“They have been so successful and happy with the workforce here, they are shutting down their other operations and moving everything here,” McCaskill said. “They will go from 20 employees to 40 real fast.” 

When speaking about job opportunities, McCaskill said there is a shortage of welders.

Steward Machine Company is so dedicated to finding welders, they are planning to spend $100,000 on a training program for new welders, who will then begin work there after.

They currently have approximately 25 employees and are looking to move up to 50.

McCaskill also spoke on Bainbridge Manufacturing, who has been slow to get started. He said the company has until the end of June to get their full workforce of 80 people, while right now they only have 40.

Bainbridge Manufacturing just brought in $3 million worth of new machinery; however, McCaskill said now that the company is ready to hire, most of the workforce has been driven elsewhere. They also are facing trouble with tariffs and workers getting green cards to teach operators how to use the machinery, but McCaskill promised it is coming along.

McCaskill was proud of all of the development the city and county has seen over the last year and finished with answering a few questions from Rotarians, regarding Taurus and the other developments discussed.