The economy certainly has seen better days. As the prices of goods and services rise and families struggle to make ends meet, it’s no secret that budgets are tight these days. Which is why, when we are accustomed to more bad news, it was good to hear that Firth Rixson plans to create 75-100 jobs by expanding its metal forging operation in Midway.
This is great news for the local workforce and for Liberty County. Of course, these jobs will go to the most qualified candidates, regardless of whether they live in Liberty County. But with Coastal Georgia’s regional unemployment rate hovering between 9 and 10 percent, there’s no doubt employment opportunities are badly needed. And thanks to certification courses such as Work Ready and programs at area educational institutions, Firth Rixson likely will be able to find qualified candidates without having to look too far. Not only will the forging facility’s action help chip away at the region’s unemployment rate — if only slightly — it also signals to other businesses that prosperity is probable in Liberty County.
When Gov. Nathan Deal announced the expansion — and subsequent jobs — it was reported that the growth is a result of increased business. While every industry is different and some are doing better than others, it stands to reason that Coastal Georgia’s dedicated, well-trained workforce had a hand in Firth Rixson’s decision to grow its Midway operation. If the plant’s managers hadn’t been satisfied with the way things were going, adding jobs likely wouldn’t have been an option.
Hopefully, other businesses and industries considering a move to Liberty County will pay attention to the company’s growth and come to the same conclusion: a company’s success and advancement are closely linked with the quality of the area’s workers.
Recently it was reported that Liberty County ranked fourth in the nation in annual income growth. That is good news as well. Together with the expansion at Firth Rixson, it could mean brighter days ahead for Liberty County.