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Economic development brings hundreds of jobs to South Georgia

Two companies are investing millions in local economy
040722 Bainbridge development.jpg
Posted at 5:55 PM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 19:37:30-04

BAINBRIDGE, Ga. (WTXL) — Two major projects are bringing dozens of jobs to South Georgia.

A1 Industries is wrapping up construction on its 180,000 square foot facility. Danimer Scientific is making progress on its major manufacturing facility. These two projects are having a trickle-down effect on smaller businesses while also leading to challenges in the housing market.

Rick McCaskill is executive director for the Development Authority of Bainbridge & Decatur County. He said A1 is, “actively trying to get employees out there. As they get the new equipment in, they’re getting more people hired and working.”

He took us inside this massive warehouse where workers assemble roof trusses for housing. The thousands of homes going up in the Florida Panhandle are driving much of this work.

McCaskill said at A1, over the next 3 to 5 years, they could have as many as 400 jobs opening up.

Not far from A-1, Danimer Scientific is making progress on their new plant. They make a non-petroleum-based plastic product.

“They’re experiencing, like everyone else, supply chain issues,” McCaskill added. “The stuff’s coming in a little slower than they’d like to see. “

The project is forging ahead and expected to bring another 400 jobs to the area once finished later in 2023.

It’s also benefiting smaller businesses in downtown Bainbridge.

“We’ve definitely seen an increase,” said Tyler Thomas, owner and executive chef at The American. “They’ve got lots of people working and they’re trying to hire more. Those people are hungry. Thankfully, we can feed them.”

With all the new workers, housing in the Bainbridge area is in short supply. McCaskill says right now they have 6 different apartment complexes in different stages of completion right now. One is going up near the river on Donalson Street. It should be finished in about 18 months.

McCaskill says they’ve also been working with local high schools and technical colleges to keep talent in the community. They’re putting together a career fair for all the jobs opening soon. It’s planned for May.