Count it as a significant win for the local economy.

Friday’s opening of a Walmart meat processing facility in Thomasville means more than just the 200-plus jobs it will bring to that location. 

The opening of the facility was “a partnership in every sense of the word,” said Thomasville Payroll Development Authority Executive Director Shelley Zorn. “This is just the best way I can think of to start a new year, the best way I can think of to start a new decade.”

Gov. Brian Kemp said the best projects in the state are the ones where “we all have skin in the game.” 

The $140 million investment, including the 201,000 square foot facility, may just be the beginning. The Walmart facility is expected to add 100 jobs in the future. The adjacent FPL facility, already at 200 employees, is expected to grow to 300.

“So right here, on this campus, on this side of the road, you’ve got 600 jobs,” Zorn pointed out.

And that’s quite a feat. So much so that Zorn said the investment and job announcement is the largest in the Thomasville area in probably more than a decade.

“This is a fantastic day,” said Charles Redfield of Walmart. “And I don’t think we couldn’t be more pleased with what we delivered today.”

The cattle are raised on family farms throughout the country, Walmart officials said, before they are processed. 

From the Thomasville facility, 500 Walmart stores in Georgia, Florida and Alabama will be supplied with Angus beef steaks and roasts. 

“What we’re also interested in is transparency in the supply chain,” Redfield said. “Customers want to know where it comes from.”

Along with the announcement of the facility’s opening, Walmart also announced grants of $2,500 to the Thomasville Police Department and to Second Harvest of South Georgia, along with a $7,500 grant to the Georgia Wildlife Federation.

As Zorn said Friday afternoon, the opening is “a really big deal” and it also goes to show that there is a future in rural Georgia. 

We congratulate the state, the Thomasville PDA, Walmart and FPL and look for more progress in the coming years.

Recommended for you