ribbon cutting

The confetti flies as the ribbon falls following Tuesday afternoon's ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of Check-Mate's new facility in Thomasville.

THOMASVILLE — Gov. Brian Kemp told hundreds of people Tuesday that Check-Mate, Thomasville newest industry, makes a new day a reality.

The gun magazine manufacture's held its ribbon-cutting and grand opening at the industry's new home, the former Caterpillar plant on the west bypass.

Check-Mate, coming to Thomasville from Long Island, New York, ultimately will employ 230 people and provide an annual payroll of $7.2 million.

"Let's put these good people to work," Kemp told Check-Mate officials. "You're going to love it here."

"I do believe this is the only community this could happen in," said Shelley Zorn, Thomasville Payroll Development Authority executive director.

Check-Mate recognized and appreciated Georgia's skilled, dedicated workforce, the governor said.

Georgia has colleges, universities and renowned training facilities, Kemp said, adding, "We invest by training our talent."

The governor pointed out local support for Check-Mate, as well as backing from surrounding communities.

"Georgia is the gateway to new markets," Kemp said.

Pointing out Georgia as a rail hub, the Savannah container port and home to the busiest airport in the world, Kemp said Check-Mate will have no problems sending products across the country and around the world.

In Thomasville, 230 jobs are as important as 2,000 in Commerce, Kemp said.

Saying she was "beyond thrilled" with the Tuesday event, Zorn recalled a former Thomasville City Council she said showed bravery and foresight in purchasing the Caterpillar building in hopes an industry would once again occupy the 168,000-square-foot structure and provide good jobs.

The community saw it all officially come to fruition at the Tuesday event.

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820