THOMASVILLE — With a full staff of 230 employees, Check-Mate, a new Thomas County industry announced Tuesday by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, is expected to have a $7.4 million annual payroll.

The payroll will have an “enormous” impact not only on the Thomas County economy, but surrounding counties as well, said Shelley Zorn, Thomasville Payroll Development (PDA) executive director.

Check-Mate Industries — moving to Thomasville from Long Island, New York — is a recognized leader in handgun magazines and the rifle magazine industry. It also manufactures life-saving surgical tools and serves the aerospace industry. 

The company, which will invest more than $15 million in building improvements and equipment, projects to have 230 full-time jobs during a three-year period. Major upgrades to the former Caterpillar building that will house Check-Mate will begin in the first quarter of 2019. The first round of hiring is expected by summer 2019, with about 35 being managerial and professional positions.

Managerial and professional employees will make $17 to $35 an hour, clerical will make in the $15 range, craftsman in the $20 to $22.50 range, operators $11 to 13.50, and unskilled jobs in the $10 to $12.50 range.

“Each dollar paid in payroll will turn over in our community seven times, as the employees buy homes, cars, groceries, shop, eat and spend their paycheck in Thomasville and Thomas County,” Zorn said. “The same is true for their utility use, as their business ramps up and they grow, so will their utility use, a great source of income for the City of Thomasville and the reason we have no property taxes in the city.”

The annual utility revenue from Caterpillar when operating at full capacity was about $1.1 million annually, said Chris White, Thomasville Utilities assistant superintendent.

“Revenues from Check-Mate are estimated initially at $400,000 to $500,000 annually, with additional revenues expected as the tenant expands its Georgia operation over the next several years,” White said.