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Monday, July 12, 2010 - 5:20am

Oil Booms Boost Jobs In Middle Georgia

A middle Georgia company that makes equipment used to corral and absorb oil is doing booming business--and it's brought more jobs to the region.

Among other products, Meltblown Technologies makes oil booms, which have been in great demand as cleanup from the major oil spill continues in the Gulf of Mexico.

Before the spill, the company in Washington County had 45 employees. But in only the span of a month, it's tripled its workforce in trying to keep up with demand.

Theo McDonald with the Washington County Development Authority says the infusion of new jobs has been critical for this part of the state.

“Even though it’s sad to think that these jobs are based on something so tragic as what’s occurring in the Gulf of Mexico. If somebody’s going to take advantage of it, I’m glad at least we can take advantage of part of it ourselves.”

McDonald says he’s been told by the company, those added jobs could be around awhile:

“They anticipate however perhaps as long as four years for some of the temporary jobs. When they fall back to the old standard, it’s going to be higher than what it was before. I think they’re going to have significantly more than 45 employees when the crisis is over.”

McDonald says Washington County's unemployment rate is one of the highest in the state at more than 15 percent. And for a county workforce of only 8,500, he says another 100 or so jobs right now has been a gift.

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