VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Gov. Brian Kemp spent time in Valdosta on Thursday.
He helped break ground for a new company, Arglass Yamamura, expected to bring in more than 150 jobs.
“This kind of project is going to set the precedent for other parts of our state," said Kemp.
The governor said this will diversify and strengthen the economy.
“They spend money in the restaurants. They spend money in the clothing stores, in the car stores. So, it’s just a trickle-down effect to where it benefits the entire community," said Tom Call, with the Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority.
Arglass is expected to invest $123 million to build its first U.S. glass container manufacturing plant.
“I know it’s going to be a game-changer for Valdosta and Lowndes County," said Gov. Kemp.
He said the project reassures everyone of his administration’s commitment to rural Georgia.
“We are certainly proud of our worldwide appeal and the partnerships that we have with our friends from literally across the globe like we’re seeing today. Making us a global competitor for investment in every region in the state. That has never been more prevalent than it is today, right here in Valdosta and Lowndes County," said Gov. Kemp.
The Valdosta community gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking.
Arglass CEO, Jose Arozamena is excited the groundbreaking is finally here after being four years in the making.
“We are putting here what will be the most modern, flexible, and efficient glass plant in the world," said Arozamena.
Arozamena said as a result of the Valdosta-Lowndes County area being the best option, this is where they wanted to locate their investment.
“The labor environment, the energy cost, and the infrastructure and the logistics are very advantageous," said Arozamena.
A large-scale investment that Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter said the county is grateful for.
“Do all the marketing that you want to do to see how good you are and how good your workforce is but until people actually make that investment in that community then that’s when it gets credibility," said Slaughter.
The company said this is only the beginning. Arozamena shared that their site is prepared to hold up to three glass-making furnaces.
“Obviously, we need to make the first one work before we can think about the other two. We have big expansion expectations," said Arozamena.
The Arglass factory is set to be completed near the end of the 2020 year.
The chairman said he hopes this project will demonstrate that Lowndes County is good place for people to bring their businesses.