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Gem Southeast Announces Expansion Plans

November 3, 2014
Pictured from left to right:  Debbie Whitlock, Stanly London, Dennis Bell, Michelle Grafton,Dean Scarborough, Doug Hitchon, Phyllis Ayers, Brian Ranck, Barry Roberts.
Pictured from left to right: Debbie Whitlock, Stanly London, Dennis Bell, Michelle Grafton,Dean Scarborough, Doug Hitchon, Phyllis Ayers, Brian Ranck, Barry Roberts.

GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr said, " GEM Southeast is an excellent member of Georgia's robust manufacturing network."  They manufacturer and distribute toilet partitions, lockers, and washroom accessories.  They currently employ over 350 people and this expansion of a new 110,000- square-foot facility will help them meet their current growth needs.  Expansion plans are expected to begin immediately.

"GEM Southeast is proud to be a part of the economic sucess in Georgia and especially Toccoa-Stephens County."  said Doug Hitchon, executive vice president and chief operating officer, GEM Southeast, Inc.  "They have all been great partners in the success and growth of our business.  We value the relationships and environment of support we have here."  

Stephens County Development Authority Director, Tim Martin and GDEcD's project manager Tammy Caudell assisted GEM Southeast with this newest expansion on behalf of Georgia.  

GEM Southeast is donating its building on Highway 123,  valued at $2.8 million, to Stephens County.  GEM will maintain operations in the current building until the expansion is complete at their new facility.  The county will then relocate all of its offices currently housed in the Courthouse Annex to the facility on Highway 123.

"We are very excited to accept the donation of the GEM Southeast building and lnad on Highway 123," said county commission chairman Dean Scarborough.  "The Board of Commissioners is currently facing a significant challenge to fund the renovations of the annex used for numerous deparmental groups of employees," he said. "The building being donataed by GEM will allow all offices from the annex to relocate and provide future space for other departments without substantial acquisition coss, allowing for the saving and more efficient use of tax dollars.  The donation will be a substantial benefit to the taxpayers of Stephens County. "

The Georgia Department of Economic Development Announced that GEM Southeast will be expanding its current Toccoa operation.  The $10 million investment will create 30 jobs.

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The SCDA is responsible for the recruitment of new businesses including industrial, manufacturing, distribution, corporate and regional headquarters and customer service centers. It also provides support and assistance with all other types of economic development projects.

The SCDA also works with existing businesses and industries to ensure their continued success. While recruitment of new industry is a significant function, aiding in existing industry expansion and retention is just as significant. About 80 percent of all new jobs in Georgia come as a result of existing industry expansion.

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