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Governor Brian Kemp focused on employment growth in South Georgia

Published: Nov. 18, 2019 at 10:57 PM EST
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CORDELE, Ga. (WALB) - Growing employment and Georgia-made industries are top priorities for Governor Brian Kemp.

One of the manufacturers Kemp visited was in Cordele. BigTex Trailers employs 140 people.

Leadership with the Cordele facility said about 80 percent of those workers live in Cordele.

Kemp made a stop in Cordele and spoke to workers at BigTex. It was the first of four stops for the governor on Monday.

One of those workers was Joshua Dowdy. He has been employed as a welder with BigTex in Cordele for five years.

“I felt like it was pretty good. It definitely brought positively around, him being here and all that makes me feel like he really is trying,” said Dowdy. “But we also gotta keep working on workforce development and we’re the best in the country but everybody else is trying to beat us now. So we gotta continue to provide the workers that we need just like the facility today. They need a lot of welders. People can make really good money being welders and we have to let our high school kids know that.”

Joshua Dowdy is a welder at BigTex in Cordele.
Joshua Dowdy is a welder at BigTex in Cordele.(source: walb)

Kemp’s stop to the BigTex facility in Cordele was part of his Georgia Made Tour.

According to BigTex Trailers’ website, the company is “America’s No. 1 professional-grade trailer manufacturer.”

"I’ve been saying, in Georgia, we can make anything for anybody anywhere in the world and that’s what we’re doing and we gotta let people know that,” said Kemp.

But is Kemp doing all he can to better the Georgia Made industry?

“Yeah, I would say he’s definitely trying and doing what he can do to better Georgia, the rural areas,” said responded Dowdy.

Kemp continued to discuss his plan to advance business growth in rural Georgia. He’s calling his plan the Strike Team.

“But we’re gonna do a couple of different things with the Strike Team. Number one, we’re gonna work with local communities that wanna work with us to find sites that we can put a project of regional significance,” explained Kemp.

He’s talking about sites that will lend thousands of acres of land to potential projects.

“To design that site with basically a shovel permit ready and then we’ll upmarket, because sometimes in rural areas, the folks on the ground don’t have the experience in marketing these types of projects, literally to international customers. But we’re gonna help with that but we’ll also help train the individuals. So, over the years, we’ll have more trained people to know how to sell our state and sell your local community,” said Kemp.

The Strike Team involves training and marketing those sites to international clients.

Kemp talked about this and other topics at the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce’s Luncheon.

It was his second stop on Monday.

Chamber leaders have confidence in Kemp’s plans.

“We were excited to hear about Governor Kemp’s program to bring jobs to South Georgia, rural Georgia throughout the state,” Carolyn Wright with the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce.

Carolyn Wright is with the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce and says “we were excited to hear...
Carolyn Wright is with the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce and says “we were excited to hear about Governor Kemp’s program."(source: walb)

Kemp was the keynote speaker at the chamber’s luncheon.

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