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Roswell Business Alliance acted as ‘go between’ in GM deal
by Joan Durbin
jdurbin@neighbornewspapers.com
January 11, 2013 05:08 PM | 2031 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Until quite late in the game, the Roswell Business Alliance didn’t have a clue who the big fish was that they were helping the city to land.

“We have been working on it for eight months, but for a long time we didn’t know who it was. It wasn’t confirmed to us until the week of Thanksgiving that it was GM,” said Steve Stroud, the RBA’s executive director.

Last week, Gov. Nathan Deal announced that General Motors is buying the former UPS facility at Mansell and Warsaw roads and converting the 228,000-square-foot space into an IT Innovation Center. It will be the third of four such centers for GM, and with it will come 1,000 new high-tech jobs over the next three to five years.

The company will hire software developers, project managers, database experts, business analysts and other IT professionals for the Innovation Center.

Recruitment has already begun at www.jobs.gm.com. Candidates from recent college grads to seasoned professionals can explore available positions by searching “locations” for Atlanta.

The process that convinced GM to make its $26 million investment in Roswell came together more quickly than is usual for a giant corporation, Stroud said.

“A project of this magnitude can take two to three years. This went relatively fast because they got good response from the city,” he said.

The RBA acted as a facilitator between the property broker and the city to put the pieces together that would make the deal work.

“We were able to be the go-between in a very confidential way. The city is not in a position to sell themselves, but we are able to do that selling. Every question GM had, we came back and responded,” Stroud said.

In comments released to the media, Deal said he was proud that the state is drawing innovative multinational companies such as GM.

“As a workforce-rich, technology-focused state, Georgia has attracted a cluster of such global innovation centers, and is ideally suited to helping GM achieve its business goals,” the governor said.

In a press release, Roswell Mayor Jere Wood thanked Deal and the governor’s Economic Development Office as well as the RBA and the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce for helping to make the GM project a reality.

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