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Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 11:35am

Liberty Ranks In Manufacturing

An economic development magazine ranks Georgia’s Liberty County among the 10 best southern places for manufacturers to set up new operations.

Southern Business & Development magazine highlighted the southeast Georgia community’s proximity to the Port of Savannah and a 5,300-acre business park with easy highway access and land ready for development in including Liberty County on its list of the 10 “no-brainer” locations for manufacturing operations in the South.

The county is the state’s only community that made the list.

“It basically validates what we have been saying regarding having the ingredients needed for a good location and it provides us with another opportunity to tell our story following what the magazine has just done,” said Ron Tolley, CEO of the Liberty County Development Authority.

Tolley said the area also has a steady stream of qualified workers, thanks to Fort Stewart. He said hundreds of soldiers stationed on the base leave the service each month and about half want to stay in the area.

“That is a significant factor that is a bonus for us. It does give us something that most communities do not have, whether you’re looking for forklift drivers or you’re looking for someone to manage a team," Tolley said.

Southern Business & Development said Liberty already has a robust manufacturing sector, including several foreign-headquartered companies and exports to 70 countries.

Editors looked at 150 places across the south to compile the list. Liberty County joins Memphis, Tenn., Columbus, Miss., and Henderson, Ky., on the list.

Tolley said a third-party analysis like this can make project managers and site-selection consultants give the county a second or third look.