21 in­dus­tries look­ing at New­ton Co.

The Covington News - - Front page - DANIELLE EVER­SON deverson@cov­news.com

More than a dozen in­dus­tries are look­ing to lo­cate or re­lo­cate to New­ton County.

Hunter Hall, the pres­i­dent of the Cov­ing­ton-New­ton County Cham­ber of Com­merce, told the board of com­mis­sion­ers at their Tues­day meet­ing that there are cur­rently 21 in­dus­tries look­ing at New­ton County as a prospect for their com­pa­nies. He said the projects could em­ploy any­where from 35 to 900 peo­ple.

“[The projects] are ac­tively be­ing worked on; some a lit­tle bit more ac­tively than oth­ers. Some we’re jump­ing through hoops on daily and some we’re wait­ing to get re­sponse from,” Hall said. “We’re cur­rently av­er­ag­ing from one to two re­quests for pro­pos­als a week. So the ac­tiv­ity is very strong.”

Hall said af­ter the an­nounce­ment of Bax­ter, a com­pany out of Cal­i­for­nia con­tacted the cham­ber and said they were also in­ter­ested in com­ing to the county. The com­pany will be back for a sec­ond visit in the next week to 10 days. In ad­di­tion, Hall said the Med­i­cal Col­lege of Ge­or­gia has ap­proached his of­fice and wants to cre­ate a life sci­ence cor­ri­dor on I-20.

Hall said Shan­non Davis, the Di­rec­tor of Busi­ness Re­ten­tion and Ex­pan­sion, has been work­ing with the Col­lege Ca­reer Academy in de­vel­op­ing two pi­lot pro­grams. He said the first pro­gram is an ap­pren­tice­ship pro­gram that will work with C.R. Bard and SKC in­dus­tries.

“This is a very in­tense ap­pren­tice­ship plan,” Hall said. “[Students] would do a two-year ap­pren­tice­ship with these two in­dus­tries their ju­nior and se­nior year.”

“The ef­fort on that is mul­ti­ple. One is ob­vi­ously to keep out bright­est and best lo­cal. The sec­ond is to help cre­ate a pipe­line for these in­dus­tries so that when C.R. Bard is look­ing for en­gi­neers with spe­cific skill sets, they can train them in their own ways within their own cul­ture,” he said. “That [pro­gram] will be start­ing here in the near fu­ture.”

The sec­ond pro­gram is a sum­mer in­tern­ship pro­gram. Hall said this pro­gram will be for teach­ers and students.

“We’re try­ing to bridge the dis­con­nect from what teach­ers are ac­tu­ally teach­ing and what in­dus­tries say­ing they need,” he said.

Hall also men­tioned that the cham­ber will host a job fair boot camp in part­ner­ship with the Ge­or­gia Depart­ment of La­bor on Oc­to­ber 2. He said the boot camp will of­fer train­ing in re­sume writ­ing, pro­fes­sion­al­ism and show in­di­vid­u­als how to dress for in­ter­views. Hall said peo­ple who par­tic­i­pate in the boot camp will re­ceive a cer­tifi­cate and gain early ac­cess to the job fair on Oct. 4 at Ge­or­gia Pied­mont Tech­ni­cal Col­lege. He said those in­ter­ested can contact the cham­ber at (770) 7867510 for more in­for­ma­tion.

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