The Stehens County Recreation Department On Tuesday, April 3, 2012, the Stephens County Recreation Department celebrated a ribbon cutting opening the new playground at their Rose Lane location.Stephens County Recreation Department Director Richard Adams said the new playground has many different features.All of the funding for the playground came from SPLOST V revenues.
New High School Opens A new era begins at Stephens County High School. Monday, March 5 all classes took place in the new Stephens County High School. Stephens County School Superintendent Sherrie Whiten said everyone is excited to be in the new building. The new building is not only beautiful architecturally, but boasts the latest in technology driven educational features and state of the art facilities for the athletic, fine arts, and Career, Technical and Agricultural Education departments.
According to statistics released Thursday by the Georgia Department of Labor, Stephens County’s preliminary unemployment rate for February was 9.6 percent.That marks a three-tenths of a percent decline from January’s revised rate of 9.9 percent.This February’s unemployment rate is also nine-tenths of a percent lower than the revised rate for February 2011 of 10.5 percent.
North Georgia Technical College’s Currahee Campus Hosts G.R.O.W. Small businesses looking to gain a leg-up on marketing their goods to other countries such as China, Switzerland and Australia had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with overseas buyers in Stephens County on Friday, March 16. The event was held at North Georgia Technical College’s Currahee Campus and is part of a state initiative from the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
Main Street Has New Website Main Street Toccoa has a new website.Main Street staff said the new site is designed to present a more modern look with interactive features, but the address remains the same.Main Street staff worked with Currahee Graphics on this project and look forward to increased web traffic!
GEM Plastics hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at their facility located at 53 Clary Connector in Eastanollee on March, 15. The ceremony officially opened the expansion of the GEM Plastics company, a division of GEM Southeast Corporation. The $750,000 expansion added 22,000 square feet within the warehouse and 2,000 square feet of office area. GEM Industries President Peter Rolla was present at the ribbon cutting and stated that suppliers and builders from the Toccoa area had been used for the expansion and that GEM Industries is dedicated to the ongoing relationship with Toccoa-Stephens County especially in economic down times. Stephens County Development Authority Secretary, Barry Roberts, who also manages at the Global Partitions plant another division of GEM Industries, stated that GEM stayed steady through recent economic hardships and even saw some growth. He credits that to the team of people working at GEM and their commitment to their jobs. Gem Plastics produces high-density plastic sheets that are used in manufacturing various products. GEM Industries has been present in Toccoa-Stephens County since 1978 and between the three facilities located in Stephens County, GEM Plastics, GEM Industries, and Global Partitions; they employ 250 people from this area.
Osborne Wood Products announced their expansion at their facility on US Highway 123 with a groundbreaking ceremony that took place on March, 8, 2012. The expansion will add 12,000 square feet to the current site and will house the “wood squares” assembly section used in the manufacturing of table legs and other furniture and cabinet products produced at Osborne Inc. Osborne Wood Products has operated in Toccoa more than 30 years. In 1979, they began their operations as a cabinet sub-contractor. While in the sub-contract furniture business Osborne Wood Products realized the need to develop their own product line. After identifying a need for furniture parts in small quantities, Osborne started manufacturing table legs and pedestals, while still providing furniture for many local companies. Currently, Osborne Wood Products employees 34 people in the Toccoa area for which the Stephens County Development Authority wishes Osborne Wood Products continued success and many thanks for being an important part of our community!
The Joint Development Authority of Franklin, Hart, and Stephens counties was awarded a loan/grant award for just under $1M to help continue work on bringing broadband to the region. Governor Nathan Deal and members of the OneGeorgia Authority Board announced the approval of $9 million in grants and loans to communities across the state from the OneGeorgia Authority's portfolio of financing programs. The Joint Development Authority received a $150,000 equity loan award and a $798,000 grant for a total of $948,000. The leaders at the JDA state that the money will allow them to “build a backbone from Hartwell to Lavonia to Toccoa to Hollywood and that their next step is to get an RFP (request for proposals) out on the street.” This RFP is to invite incumbent providers to be a partner with the JDA to bring and operate a network directly to the specific customers and hopefully by year’s end we’ll have additional new capacity for broadband connectivity in our area!
Mayor David Austin, City Manager Mike Jackson, Sheriff Randy Shirley, Chamber Chairman Barry Roberts, Chamber President Wendi Bailey, SCDA Chairman Cam Parker, and SCDA Executive Director Tim Martin met with Governor Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, and many of our state Senators and Representatives at Toccoa-Stephens County Day at the Capitol that was held on February 9, 2012.
Crown Resources, located in Hayestone Brady Industrial Park, recently unveiled their new sign. Crown Resources’ sign faces Hwy 17. They also completed their sign in front of their building! Drive by and check it out!
Stephens County Development Authority Existing Industries’ Spotlights
As SCDA proceeds with ongoing efforts to bring business and industries into Toccoa/Stephens County, we would like to spotlight three of our existing industries: C.W. Matthews Contracting Company, Coats and Clark, and Eaton Corporation.
C.W. Matthews Contracting Company
C. W. Matthews is a Heavy Highway Construction Company which is solely based in Georgia. CWM has twenty seven locations across Georgia with their home office is located in Marietta, Georgia. Bob Matthews started the business in 1946 building farm ponds and old country chert roads. His son Charles, Executive Vice President, runs the day to day business. The Toccoa plant is located on Rock Quarry Circle and continues to be one of CWM’s top production plants. The $4.5 million dollar plant was built in 2007 and produces asphalt for construction jobs in the North Georgia region. The plant can produce some 400 tons/day and can store over 650 tons of asphalt in their three large silos. Runways in the Atlanta Airport, paving around Atlantic Station, Hwy 316, Hwy 365, local repaving, and I-85 are just a few of the major projects where CWM participated. Thanks to C.W. Matthews for locating their asphalt plant in Toccoa. They continue to be a good neighbor and furnish excellent jobs. We wish C.W. Matthews future growth and profits.
Coats and Clark
We would like to spotlight Coats & Clark. This company is part of the world’s largest textile/thread manufacturing company with products sold in over 150 countries for industrial and home use. Coats & Clark’s parent company is Coats North America, whose Parent company is Coats CPL, a multinational Company from the U.K. This company is America’s number one name in sewing and needlecraft products. With almost 200 years of existence, 22,000 employees worldwide; the U.S. Headquarters are located in Charlotte, NC. This company operates multiple facilities in the U.S., including a Manufacturing Facility in Toccoa, located in a property with an area of 126 acres, including a building with a size of 76,800 square feet. As the SCDA commends Coats & Cloaks for retaining 113 employees, we continue to support this industry and wish them a successful future.
Eaton Corporation is an internationally diversified power management company with products and services ranging from automotive and trucks to aerospace and military. The corporation is a global technology leader that has approximately 70,000 employees and sells its products in over 150 countries bringing in sales of $11.9 billion in 2009. The company owns numerous plants and branches in the U.S. as well as around the world. There are two properties at the Meadowbrook Industrial Park in Eastanollee. One of the facilities has an area of 7.68 acres and three buildings with sizes of 67,213, 4,222 and 4,800 square feet. The other facility has an area of 7.54 acres, but no constructions are built on this second area. They currently employ 122 people and are looking to see potential growth in the upcoming year. In 2009, Eaton Corporation received the state-wide award for Outstanding Operation of an Industrial Facility from the Georgia Association of Water Professionals. As SCDA salutes Eaton, we hope to see the community support this industry and wish them a successful future.
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