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Posted: November 6, 2012 10:27 p.m.

Local industry to add jobs

Local metal manufacturer Vestar Technologies is planning to add more jobs and recently reached an agreement with Georgia Piedmont Technical College and Georgia Quick Start to provide training.

Vestar originally began operations in Covington in December 2011 and was expected to hire 30 employees at first and up to 140 employees during the following five years.

According to a press release from Georgia Piedmont, the training agreement is based on Vestar's commitment to provide around 75 new jobs at the Newton County plant. Quick Start, which is the state's customized workforce training program, will design and develop training material and provide instructors for the classes through Georgia Piedmont.

"We are pleased to be able to provide ongoing training support to Vestar Technologies," said Dr. Jabari Simama, president of Georgia Piedmont Technical College, in a press release. "When such valued community members succeed, all of us in the Newton County area benefit."

Vestar was expected to invest $25.9 million in investment, equipment and building improvements in its 99,000 square foot location in Lochridge Industrial Park.

"We looked through a number of different states - way, way too many sites - and we focused on a facility, that was a big part of our search, and the access to people, not just hourly, but also, since it is the headquarters, we'll have some (research and development), access to talented, salaried professionals," Chief Financial Officer John Moser told The News when the company announced its location. "Covington's proximity to Atlanta helps a great amount and the proximity to the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech and a number of schools in the Southeast.

"One of the big things also was the utility rates. Covington and most utilities in the state were pretty favorable."

The authority offered tax abatement on property taxes to incentivize Vestar to locate in Covington. The company was not given any money, but it will save a total of $745,046 in taxes during the next seven years if it meets at least 90 percent of its stated investment levels.

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