The Liberty County Development Authority held its monthly meeting Monday and board members reviewed the accomplishments and projects completed by the authority in 2010. The list of projects, awards and accolades is as follows:
• The announcement that Firth Rixson, an aerospace forging facility, would open in Liberty County. Business Facilities Magazine published coverage of the announcement.
• Submission for the Governor’s International Trade Award, which SNF, Inc. — one of Liberty County’s largest industrial employers — did win. The publicity SNF received from the Governor’s International Trade Award gained them recognition from the Atlanta Chapter of the French-American Chamber of Commerce, which bestows the Crystal Peach Award. LCDA staff attended the event to show their support for SNF.
• Presentations and tours arranged for Young Adult Liberty Leaders and Leadership Liberty.
• Spring and fall industry-appreciation events for the senior level management in each industry related to the LCDA.
• Applications for and awards of a U.S. Economic Development Administration grant for $823,000 and OneGeorgia grant of $1,000,000 for the Firth Rixson project.
• Tour and briefing conducted of Tradeport East, the IDI building and the Firth Rixson project for the Georgia Allies.
• A briefing conducted by the LCDA at the Georgia Ports Authority followed by a tour of the port by the Georgia Ports Authority.
• Firth Rixson’s Quick Start Training signing ceremony at the LCDA office.
• A tour of Fort Stewart for the LCDA industries.
• Briefing and tour of the finished Firth Rixson facility.
• Awards received from the Southern Economic Development Council for re-branding efforts and website design.
• Tradeport East’s designation by Dorey’s Industrial Market Review as one of Georgia’s top industrial sites.
• Community leaders’, site selection consultants’ and project managers’ support of the LCDA’s projects and objectives throughout the year.
• Increased website activity and local news coverage.
With the recent grand opening of the Firth Rixson facility, LCDA CEO Ron Tolley said the process is running smoothly so far. Tolley also said each of the projects above presented its own challenges for the LCDA.
“We now have a well-managed, growing, international company engaged in advanced manufacturing processes for the aerospace industry, which is one of the state’s target industries,” Tolley said. “It has proven to the state’s project managers once again that we can successfully compete on major projects that any community would be proud to have locate.”
As of January, Tolley said the company had 73 employees and continuously is working through the certification phases as Firth Rixson reaches the goal of employing 200 people at its new facility in Midway.
International clients also were invited for a tour and major briefing recently, which was “very successful,” Tolley said.
Anna Chafin, director of marketing and research for the LCDA, said that the authority pushes for recruiting and retaining “high-caliber companies in Liberty County” to continue having success in the area of growth and development.
“Our recent branding and marketing push has helped us build awareness that Liberty County is a place where companies, both foreign and domestic, can grow globally,” she said.
“Our success is evident in the fact that 70 percent of our existing industry base is tied to companies headquartered abroad. In addition, our existing industries export to over 70 countries throughout the world.”