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Mar 15, 2010

More Jobs for Douglasville

The Douglasville Development Authority (DDA) is working with two existing industries to add about 20 news jobs in the next 12 months, according to Jamie Gilbert, DDA executive director.
Gilbert made the announcement at the Monday noon meeting of the Rotary Club of Douglas County at the Douglasville Downtown Conference Center. He did not identify the industries by name.

He said one firm may establish a headquarters operation here and the other will add manufacturing to its distribution operation, both bringing high salary jobs.

Gilbert said 80 percent of all new jobs and investment are generated by existing industry.

“Through the development authority’s Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) program, I meet with Douglasville companies throughout the year to identify their needs and issues,” he said.

He said the development authority worked with several existing industries during the past year to create or retain 120 jobs, at an investment of $9.2 million.

Gilbert said his department is working on nine active projects, with 1,160 jobs and $99.4 million capital investment and 15 active leads, with 1,135 jobs and $245.6 million capital investment.

“We’re off to a great start this year,” he said. “Thirty-six percent of these projects and leads have been developed since mid-December.”

Gilbert said the recent increased activity provides two reasons for optimism.

“First, it indicates that the economy seems to be picking up,” he said. “Also, we’re now being recognized as a development partner in the Atlanta area.”

Gilbert said his plan to attract industry is “a rifle approach rather than a shotgun.”

He said the idea is to recruit certain types of industry, such as those in life science, medical services, information technology and other professional and technical services.

“Our work force is very much underrated,” he said. “We have the most educated work force in metro Atlanta.”

He said the Georgia Department of Labor identifies the Douglasville work force area as including the counties of Douglas, Carroll, Cobb, Fulton and Paulding.

Gilbert said Douglasville has several regional and statewide economic development allies and partners, including Georgia Department of Economic Development, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Georgia EMC and Georgia Power.

He said he takes many visiting industrial prospects to one of the city’s biggest industries, the American Red Cross Southern Region Blood Service.

“They can see the property first hand and interact with the personnel and management,” he said.

Gilbert said the city development authority has several marketing efforts including e-mail, press releases, trade show exhibits, newsletters and a Web site, www.douglasvilledevelopment.com.