While the nation continues to lose manufacturing jobs to other countries, Lowndes County has managed to maintain its industrial base in the past few years.

Just last week, Lowndes welcomed its newest industrial employer, American Drill Bushing. Although the manufacturer of safety lifting devices is employing only 18 people initially, it's recruiting to fill other jobs, primarily machinists and general laborers.

At a recent meeting of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority, Executive Director Ken Garren reported the Authority is talking to 12 new employer prospects. He described them as varying in size, and including distribution centers and manufacturers. Representatives of several have visited here, and at least two prospects have Valdosta in an advanced stage of consideration.

Regardless of size, these types of employers are an integral part of the vibrant economy we enjoy in the greater Lowndes area. Many of our largest employers are public entities -- Moody Air Force Base, Valdosta State University, the city and county school systems, and the city and county governments. But it's important to have the business sector fueling and investing in the local economy.

Luckily in Lowndes, we have a healthy mix in the private sector that includes manufacturing, retail, housing and services, including medical.

We welcome ADB to Lowndes, and we expect other smart investors will follow its lead.

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