By: Ashley Biles & Larry Stanford
August 26, 2013
The Thomaston-Upson Industrial Development Authority has announced that Thomaston-Upson County was visited by a prospect earlier this week that is considering relocating possibly to the state of Georgia. TUIDA Executive Director Kyle Fletcher stated the prospect, Project Clover, is a gun manufacturer and this is their first visit to the area. They are looking at the Central Georgia Business and Technology Park as a potential location.
During a joint meeting of the Upson County Board of Commissioners (BOC) and the Thomaston and Yatesville city councils Tuesday night, Commission Chairman Rusty Blackston and Mayor Hays Arnold, both members of TUIDA, told the crowd the potential industry is Beretta Firearms.
“We had a very good prospect that, in my impression, is very interested in Upson County,” said Blackston. “They said we could go ahead and make it known to the public who they are. Beretta Firearms is looking to move to Upson County, which would be an impact of approximately 400 to 450 jobs on startup. That would put us on the global market.”
“Let’s make it clear, they have not decided on Thomaston-Upson County,” cautioned Arnold. “But, we are extremely high-ranking on their list at this point in time.”
Beretta Firearms is an Italian firearms company that is known world-wide for their products and has been in business since 1526.
Fletcher, along with members of TUIDA, met with company representatives where they were given an overview of the community that included everything from healthcare and education to quality of life and incentives. She noted that two things which are important to any industry looking to locate here are Southern Crescent’s Training Facility and the new fine arts auditorium, both of which were pointed out during an aerial tour of the community.
“I enjoyed meeting with the representatives and learning about their industry,” stated Fletcher. “I especially enjoyed the opportunity to share our community assets with them.”
She noted she could not say how many jobs could be created or the amount of investments made as this project is in the infancy stages. Numerous states are being visited by the prospect and the communities will not be notified until late October or mid-November if they will get a return visit.
“We are excited about the opportunity to showcase our community, incentives and resources to any prospect,” said Fletcher, noting that while this prospect is from the state, there are currently two other ongoing prospects which are not state-department related that the TUIDA is also working with.
She added that the goal of the TUIDA with any prospect involves getting them back for a return visit. There are many factors that go into a company making decisions about relocation and the TUIDA is hopeful that Thomaston-Upson County will get a second visit by this prospect.