SCDA Touts Water System

The Stephens County Development Authority will focus its efforts on wooing members of the beverage industry to Stephens County.

“With our water system, it’s a good match,” said SCDA executive director Tim Martin, adding that the SCDA is still actively researching and recruiting a wide range of industries.

“We do try to maintain aggressive outreach,” he told city and county commissioners during the annual SCDA update given to both commissions earlier this month.

Martin reported on the activities and contacts of the SCDA over the past year.

He said the number of industry representatives who have spoken with the SCDA but have not visited the county or met in person with SCDA members has gone down slightly in the past year, but that the number of potential industry representatives who have visited the county has gone up slightly.

Martin said he and the authority’s various committees continue to stay in close contact with a network of individuals – from state and federal government officials to business and industry consultants and representatives – to get the information about Stephens County out to a wide base of prospects.

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NGTC Among Nations Fastest Growing Colleges

Enrollment at the 26 colleges of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) has grown at a record pace over the last couple of years with the addition of out-of-work and under-employed Georgians who are looking to learn new skills and retool for in-demand careers in today’s highly competitive job market.

The surge in student enrollment has earned North Georgia Technical College (NGTC), along with 14 other TCSG colleges, the distinction of being among the fastest-growing public two-year colleges in the nation.

“The exponential growth we have seen here at the college these last few years has been great,” NGTC president Steve Dougherty said.

“I have to give the credit to our outstanding faculty and staff who have done a great job during tough times and they always focus first on our students,” Dougherty said.

Read the article: NGTC fastest growing colleges

Unemployment for November

According to figures released by the Georgia Department of Labor, Stephens County's preliminary unemployment rate for November came in at 10.7 percent. That represents an increase of eight-tenths of a percent from October's final rate of 9.9 percent. Last month's preliminary unemployment rate in Stephens County is lower than November 2009, when unemployment was 10.9 percent.

SCDA Highlights Sage Automotive Interiors

Sage Automotive Interior is an international business developing and manufacturing automotive body cloth-seating, door panel surfaces and headliners for automotive manufacturers around the world.

The company's global headquarters is located in Greenville, S.C., and has manufacturing locations in the U.S., Japan, China, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. The company considers consumer research sustainability and innovative problem solving as its core strengths.

Sage Automotive Interiors, formerly Milliken & Company, has been present in Stephens County for almost 40 years. Manufacturing plants in teh U.S. are located in Detroit, Minnesota, and in Toccoa. The plant in Stephens County is located on Highway 17 with an area of 40.32 acres that has three buildings with total combined square feet of 306,076. The Avalon plant supplies nearly 100% of the polyester yarn for the subsequent processes here in the U.S. The plant also has other processes which includes texturing, warping, beaming, and slashing.

SCDA salutes and congratulates Sage Automotive Interiors for their 164 employees.

Two local men are recipients of awards from the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission

Recently, Stephens County Development Authority Executive Director Tim Martin was named as the GMRC's Appointed Official of the year and L.J. Harrison was selected as the Council Member of the Year for the GMRC. Both men received the awards at the commission's Annual Awards Dinner on December 3 in Dillard, GA.

Crescent ridership rises in 2010

According to Amtrak, ridership on the Crescent, the line that come through Toccoa twice a day, rose by 4.2 percent from Fiscal Year 2009 to Fiscal Year 2010. In that time period, 298,688 people rode the Crescent, compared to 286,576 people in the 12 months prior. Meanwhile, revenue in Fiscal Year 2010 was just over $28.7 million. That is up 8.3 percent from Fiscal Year 2009.

Hayestone-Brady Business Park Nears Completion

Stephens County Development Authority Executive Director Tim Martin said the work that began at the Highway 17 business park in June will soon wrap up on time and on budget. Based on weather, Martin says completion can be expected either late this month or early in January. The work was paid for with SPLOST money.

Butterworth to be appointed to the Committee on Assignments

Following last month's election, Republican senators voted to create a new set-up in the State Senate for determining committee assignments and leadership posts, taking that power away from the Lieutenant Governor and creating a Committee on Assignments to handle it. 50th District State Senator Jim Butterworth has confirmed he will be appointed to that committee. He called it an honor to receive the appointment!