-- Valdosta, Ga. -- April 25, 2012 --
The manufacturer Caterpillar has decided to re-locate a construction equipment factory from Japan to Athens, Georgia. The move is expected to bring the state an additional 1,400 jobs.
Baxter Pharmaceuticals is also building a plant in the same area adding another 1,500 jobs.
Eyewitness News reporter Eames Yates asked Governor Nathan Deal "How do you plan to boost job growth in Valdosta particularly?"
He said "well obviously there are growth pockets across the state. They don't always grow equally in terms of job opportunities. But every time we have a chance to bring industry or any kind of manufacturing in particular because we've lost a lot of manufacturing in the south. We certainly make every effort to do that."
Governor Nathan Deal was in Valdosta to celebrate the new Health Sciences and Business Administration Building. It's part of Valdosta State University. It will bring in about $50 million dollars to the area and add about 1,200 jobs.
With the governor's appearance in his town, economic development was on the mayor's mind. Valdosta Mayor John Gayle said "I wanted him to talk about what he was bringing to Valdosta."
Currently, the unemployment rate in Lowndes County is close to 9%.Construction on the Health Sciences and Business Administration Building is expected to begin in January of 2013.