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Industrial recruiter touts past-year successes
by Adam Elrod
August 28, 2013 09:08 AM | 1520 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jamie Gilbert of Paulding Economic Development, speaks about the progress the organization made in the past year.
Jamie Gilbert of Paulding Economic Development, speaks about the progress the organization made in the past year.
The head of Paulding’s chief industry recruitment agency last week credited a “team” of local officials and new and existing employers with bettering the county’s economic climate in the past year.

Officials with Paulding Economic Development, which is funded by the Dallas and county governments and the Paulding Chamber of Commerce, gave its 2012-13 annual report at the Dallas Civic Center.

Executive Director Jamie Gilbert compared the members of the “team” to the NFL Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens and how it took getting just the right players and staff to make them a championship team.

“We are working our way to economic championship,” Gilbert said.

He said he sees Interroll and Ronchi — two industries the organization has recruited to the county — as the “game-changing players” the team has brought in. Gilbert said they are utilizing the talents of their “dependable veterans,” including Top Flight Aerostructures and Simmons SEC Inc., both companies which have expanded their businesses.

Also to have a championship caliber team they need “knowledgeable and dedicated staff,” and he said those are Hiram Mayor Doris Devey, Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin, Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport Director Blake Swafford, Paulding County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Carolyn Wright and Paulding County Board of Commissioners Chairman David Austin.

To round out the team they have “scouts” like Post 3 Commissioner Tommie Graham and Sheriff Gary Gulledge.

“[Building the team] is one piece at a time,” Gilbert said.

Graham helped recruit Ronchi – a bottling equipment manufacturer — to Paulding. Gulledge is helping court a company which has not been disclosed. They are calling it “Project 89.”

“[The agency is] working with Project 89, a new machining/metal fabrication operation that if selected Paulding would be our largest manufacturer,” Gilbert said.

Over the year the economic development organization successfully recruited five new companies and helped two expand. Between the seven companies 177 jobs will be created and they should make a $12.5 million investment in Paulding, Gilbert said.

The average pay for the jobs being created is $39,030 per year.

“[That is] 27 percent higher than the current average salary for jobs in Paulding County,” he said.

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