Thomasville community excited for more jobs after manufacturer commits to vacant Caterpillar property

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By: Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News
September 26, 2018

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) -- Thomasville's Payroll Development Authority has good news for the local work force.

When the Caterpillar plant closed its doors, it left many in the area without jobs. Nearly two years later, the community still remembers the loss of industry and the loss of jobs.

"It was devastating because people's lives depended on it," said Deborah Clark, a longtime resident.

The PDA purchased the property months after closing. It say it's now happy to see the long term plans paying off.

"It becomes real for you that this is a person and this is a job and this is what they use to support their family, so it's great to see the other side of that," said Shelley Zorn, PDA Executive Director.

A gun magazine manufacturer from the northeast has given a verbal commitment to move its headquarters south. Zorn says she's already received several resumes from people wanting to apply and sent them to the company.

"The floodgates have opened and people are overwhelmed and excited," said Zorn.

It's a $15 million investment that will replace more than what was initially lost, with 230 new jobs.

"It's excitement for people I know that will probably apply," said Clark.

The industry breathing new life into the property and the community.

"It's a sense of belonging to your community. Not having to commute out of town for a job, so it would bring the community together, I think," said Clark.

The PDA is still in the middle of legal paperwork and plans to announce the company's name in November. They say it's the area's skilled workforce and gun-friendly atmosphere that's grabbing the attention of big industry and they hope to see it continue.

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