Valdosta/Lowndes buck trends with another new business - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta/Lowndes buck trends with another new business

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By Robin Jedlicka - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Amidst the national recession, business openings are beginning to seem like a rare occurrence.

Valdosta and Lowndes County are bucking the trends with Smith Distribution Center, a new drug distribution company that's looking to fill 50 jobs before their grand opening in March.

The company says more jobs may become available as they expand.

With jobs being cut throughout the country, a ribbon-cutting seems a rare sight to behold.

Smith Distribution Company has been operating since 1944 out of Spartanburg South Carolina. Within their first 18 months of operation here in Valdosta, they will create fifty jobs.

The company supplies pharmaceuticals to both hospitals and independent pharmacies.

They chose to build a facility in Valdosta because of the city's financial success.

"We certainly know that this is a hub, this is a distribution hub. This area has certainly been known for that, and it is a great location for us being close to the interstate and the demographic markets that are bound to grow," said company president Ken Couch.

Smith Distribution is ready for this growth, the company purchased the lot adjacent to their building. That side of the building was constructed with an expandable wall.

"We hope to double the size of this warehouse if we can get enough new business, and we hope we can," Couch said.

The company will hire employees for automation. All positions are related to technology and distribution.

"They're high paying jobs, they're great jobs, they've got great benefits. It's a great company to work for," said Industrial Authority Director Brad Lofton. 

Though Valdosta's unemployment rate is a low 7%, the community is grateful for new business.

"This will really help us bring down our unemployment rate. It will bring new opportunities to fifty families, so we're excited about it," said Lofton.

Excited to welcome a fast-growing company to this fast-growing community.

Smith Distribution Center has will further solidify Valdosta's reputation as a distribution hub.

Smith Distribution bought enough land to expand what is now a 108,000 square foot warehouse into a massive 250,000square feet.

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