Valdosta enjoys low unemployment rate - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta enjoys low unemployment rate

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February 14, 2007

Valdosta - Rod Willcox and Organic Milling only recently moved to Valdosta.  "We bought the plant in June of 2006 and opened the plant up on July 31st of 2006," says Rod Willcox, the General Manager of Organic Milling.

And they've seen enormous success in that short amount of time.  "We are already in production and I expect to see production go up 2 to 3 times in the next three months," he says.

In fact, they've been so successful they plan to hire almost 100 new employees this year.

This seems to be a trend for Valdosta businesses.  Many of them are planning an expansion, which not only helps the business but the local economy and unemployment rate as well.  "Existing industry is just as important, or even more important to us then new announcements," says Brad Lofton of the Valdosta-Lowndes Industrial Authority.  "80 percent of existing jobs that are created in Georgia come from existing industry not new announcements."

Last year the unemployment rate fell below national and state averages at 4.2 percent, with the city creating over 1,000 new jobs.

And with Valdosta's explosive growth, they expect it to stay that way in 2007.  "We are poised for continued growth in 2007 and beyond. It's a great place to be right now and there are many opportunities. We just need to seek those out and continue in that positive pace," says Dr. Cindy Tori, an Associate Professor of Economics at Valdosta State University.

An it's easy to see why, with businesses like Organic Milling continuing to grow.  "We are building the business slowly and all I can say is the future looks good," Willcox says.

And continuing to make a positive mark on the economy.

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