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Some 50 members of the Jasper County community, Southern Crescent Technical College, the state Department of Economic Development and others turned out on a rainy afternoon Tuesday to join in the groundbreaking ceremony for Norton Packaging which will be locating in Monticello’s Industrial Park.
Norton produces “rigid packaging,”—containers that hold a wide variety of products, and will manufacture plastic injection molded rigid shipping containers at the Monticello facility. Some of the industries the company services include paint, janitorial, petrochemical, adhesive, agricultural chemicals and food packaging.
The company is a fourth generation family business which is co-owned by three brothers, Greg, Mark and Scott Norton. In addition, overseeing the building here will be Joe Schrick, a 36-year employee of the company. In addition, Scott Taylor, a 20-year resident of Atlanta has been hired to oversee operations here.
The company’s headquarters and main operations have been on the west coast since its founding in 1901. In 1996, the brothers saw an opportunity to move some of the operations eastward, and opened a plant in Indiana. The plant in Monticello will bring them further east.
The 76,000-square-foot facility here will service the southeast region of the United States as well as Puerto Rico and Europe. Norton is investing $12 million in the new manufacturing operation.
Norton plans to begin hiring by July 2013, Georgia Quick Start, the country’s top-rated customized workforce training program, will assist the company with its training needs.
Present at Tuesday’s ceremony were most of the city and county elected officials, and they had their photos made with Greg and Mark Norton along with Mr. Schrick. (Scott Norton was unable to be present Tuesday, but was expected to be in Monticello Wednesday.) The photo above features members of the Development Authority of Jasper County and the Monticello-Jasper County Chamber of Commerce with the Norton officials.
They include (left to right) Mr. Schrick, Andrea Benton, Kim McMichael, Linda Simmons, Rusty Bullard, Greg Norton, Angela Spivey, Mark Norton, Kathy Mudd, Amanda Crews, Steve Jordan, Joan Bell, David Dyer and Jeff Greeson.
City officials who were instrumental in Norton locating here, and who were present at the groundbreaking included Mayor Bryan Standifer, Mayor Pro-tem Bobby Jacobs, and Council members Katherine Alexander, Randy Strozier, and Larry Thurman. City Manager Tim Sweezey was also pictured with them.
County officials who were on hand for the photo included Commission Chairman Carl Pennamon and members Bruce Henry, Craig Salmon and Doug Luke along with Lorri Smith, acting county manager.
Dr. Randall L. Peters, president of Southern Crescent Technical College welcomed everyone to the groundbreaking ceremony and said he was excited to have Norton coming and bring over 80 jobs.
He talked about the college, and said that once the employees have completed their QuickStart training there, they will be reminded that the college is still there, and that the college can change people’s lives. He said he is excited bout the possibilities that Norton brings.
Gretchen Corbin, deputy commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) brought greetings from Gov. Nathan Deal and Commissioner Chris Cummiskey. Ms. Corbin talked about the Georgia allies, the private partners who work with the GDEcD to bring business to Georgia.
She praised the work of Andrew Neumann with GDEcD as well as the partners at Electric Membership Corporations (EMC), the Electric Cities of Georgia (ECG), and Norfolk-Southern. She thanked the Technical College System of Georgia, saying, We sing your praises on every occasion,” noting that the Quick Start program is instrumental in attracting industry.
She spoke to the Norton brothers and told of her vision of the undertaking from the introduction until the groundbreaking. “This location in Georgia’s heartland is an outgrowth of a business strategy to extend existing customer relationships in addition to expanding our customer base in fast-growing markets,” said Scott Norton, co-president of Norton Packaging in remarks prepared for the day.
“We were drawn here by the state’s advantageous business climate, and we look forward to becoming an integral part of the community.”
The Georgia Department of Economic Development partnered with the Development Authority of Jasper County to manage this project. GDEcD senior project manager Andrew Neumann assisted Norton on behalf of the state.
“We’re very pleased that Norton Packaging has found our community the perfect fit for its needs, and we look forward to working with the company as it puts down roots and finds success in Jasper County,” said David Dyer, Executive Director, Development Authority of Jasper County.
“There is no better reward for a lot of work by a lot of people than having a fine company like Norton commit to its future growth and create job opportunities right here in our community,” commented Monticello Mayor Bryan Standifer.
Greg Norton gave a little history of the company, and personally thanked Ms. Corbin and her team for their help in locating the company here. He also personally thanked David Dyer and Rusty Bullard with the DAJC, and Mayor Standifer.