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Old LaFayette Bluebird Plant Gets New Occupant
LAFAYETTE, GA - New jobs are headed to Walker County. Phillips Bros. Machine Co. announced today in a news conference, at the site of the former Bluebird plant, that they are immediately hiring 40 new workers for the new plant and an additional 50 workers long-term.
The need for additional workers comes as Phillips Machine and the Walker County Development Authority officially closed the land sale of the former Bluebird bus plant.
Phillips Machine Co. has purchased 45 acres, including the Bluebird manufacturing facility that will house their new operations. The remaining 80 acres have been acquired by the Walker County Development Authority, and will provide added incentives when attracting new industrial business prospects to the area.
"The announcement of almost 100 new jobs is a direct reflection of the hard work and high caliber that our local workforce offers to new and existing businesses contributing to the economic success of Walker County," said Bebe Heiskell, Walker County commissioner. "The focus of the Commissioner's Office and Walker County Development Authority has been and will continue to be maintaining significant job growth in our area by providing support to businesses such as Phillips that can bring a positive economic impact to our area."
"Now that the land sale is complete, we are ready to expand our operations more than ever before and bring on the large number of individuals who will join the Phillips family," said Michael Phillips, Phillips Bros. Machine Co. plant manager. "The final closing of the land deal makes our company's expansion official, and we owe a large part of that to the involvement of the Walker County Development team."
Since the economic downtown of 2008, the number of unemployed individuals drastically increased when businesses such as Bluebird were forced to shut their doors. Development officials in Walker County have made it a top priority the past four years to seek out and support business opportunities that put residents back to work and enhance the local economy. The new land deal acquiring Bluebird's property will allow for this through the addition of almost 100 jobs and opening up opportunities for more new business growth.
"The success of companies like Phillips, Roper, Nissin Break and others, reflected in ongoing job creation, is a valuable asset to Walker County's economy and extremely low unemployment rate that continues to be one of the lowest in the state," said Commissioner Bebe Heiskell. "It is a great way to show future potential new industries that Walker County is a great place to bring your business and thrive."
This latest land acquisition by Walker County will be an advantage for future industrial recruitment efforts. The Walker County Industrial Park continues to attract new industries bringing economic growth through tax incentives, fiber optic capabilities and large amounts of available space for growing businesses to utilize.
Phillips Brothers makes parts for machinery like bulldozers and dump trucks and also supply parts for Alstom in Chattanooga.
The company currently operates on Mission Ridge Road in Rossville.
More Business News
Last Update on October 30, 2014 17:28 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. economy grew at a solid annual rate of 3.5 percent in the July-September quarter, propelled by solid gains in business investment, export sales and the biggest jump in military spending in five years.
The Commerce Department says that the third quarter result followed a 4.6 percent rebound in the second quarter. The economy shrank at a 2.1 percent rate in the first three months of the year due to a harsh winter.
The report was the first of three estimates of the gross domestic product, the economy's total output of goods and services. Economists believe the economy is maintaining momentum in the current quarter with consumer spending expected to be helped by a big fall in gas prices.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose slightly last week, but remained at historically low levels that signal a strengthening job market.
The Labor Department says weekly applications increased 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 287,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, declined 250 to 281,000, the lowest level in more than 14 years.
Applications are a proxy for layoffs and have fallen 20 percent in the past year. The steady decline suggests that businesses are sufficiently confident in the economy to hold onto their staffs. That same confidence could lead them to step up hiring.
The economy expanded at a solid annual rate of 3.5 percent in the July-September quarter, according to a separate government report. That's healthy enough to encourage more hiring.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates arrested their five-week decline this week but the benchmark 30-year loan remained below 4 percent.
Mortgage company Freddie Mac says the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage rose to 3.98 percent from 3.92 percent last week. It remained at its lowest level since June 2013. The rate stood at 4.53 percent back in January.
The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, increased to 3.13 percent from 3.08 percent.
The sustained decline in long-term rates sparked a boomlet of homeowners looking to refinance mortgages. Homeowners eager for a bargain rate fired off inquiries to lenders. Applications for "re-fi's" reached their highest level since November 2013 in the week ended Oct. 17, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal regulators are suing baby food-maker Gerber for claiming that its Good Start Gentle formula can prevent or reduce allergies in children.
The Federal Trade Commission says that claim is bogus and that the New Jersey-based company misled consumers by suggesting the formula was the first to meet government approval for reducing the risk of allergies.
The FTC says it wants Gerber to remove that claim from formula labels and advertisements. The agency also wants Gerber to reimburse consumers who have bought the formula since 2011, when the claim began.
Gerber Products Co., also known as NestlT Infant Nutrition, says in a statement that it believes it has met all legal requirements about product claims.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is considering matching online prices from competitors like Amazon.com, raising the stakes for the holiday shopping season.
The world's largest retailer, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, has matched prices of local store competitors but hadn't followed moves by other retailers like Best Buy or Target to match prices of online rivals. It said it has been testing the strategy in certain markets and is trying to figure out whether to go ahead.
The strategy comes as Wal-Mart is trying to rev up sluggish sales in the U.S. but it could also erode profits.
A Wal-Mart spokeswoman says many store managers have matched online prices for customers on a case-by-case basis.
The move was first reported by The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
UNDATED (AP) -- Microsoft is looking to challenge Apple and Google with its own system for consolidating health and fitness data from various fitness gadgets and mobile apps. Microsoft is also releasing a $199 fitness band to work with this system.
As more athletes and recreationalists track their fitness, a chief frustration has been the inability to bring data from one gadget into an app made by a rival. As a result, nutrition information might reside in one place, while data on calories burned might be in another. Consolidating data gives users and health professionals a bigger picture on health.
Microsoft Health follows the launch of Apple's HealthKit in September and Google Fit earlier this week. Unlike rival systems, Microsoft Health will work with competing phones, not just those running Windows.
MADRID (AP) -- Spain's parliament has approved new intellectual property laws that allow news publishers to charge aggregators each time they display news content in search results.
The law goes into effect Jan. 1 but does not specify how much aggregators like Google News could be charged. Spain's AEDE group of news publishers had lobbied for what is known as the "Google Tax" but has not provided specifics.
Google Inc.'s Spanish division said Thursday it was disappointed with the outcome and will work with Spanish news publishers to help them increase income.
Google last year agreed to help French news organizations increase online advertising revenue and fund digital publishing innovations to settle a dispute there over whether it should pay for news content in its search results.
BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group has completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility from Google Inc. in a move aimed at becoming a global smartphone brand.
Lenovo said it completed the $2.9 billion purchase on Thursday, adding to a flurry of acquisitions and initiatives aimed at transforming the world's biggest maker of personal computers into a major player in wireless computing.
Google bought Motorola Mobility in 2012 for $12.4 billion but appeared to decide quickly the purchase was a mistake. It sold its set-top operations to Arris Group Inc. for $2.35 billion and its smartphone assets, along with some 2,000 patents, to Lenovo.
Lenovo chairman Yang Yuanqing said when the purchase was announced in January that it would help transform Lenovo into a global competitor in smartphones.
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