Will Jackson County be the new home to an automobile assembly plant? Tuesday Jackson County Commissioners invested fifteen hundred dollars to fund a grant for Opportunity Florida. The grant will prove why Jackson County is the ideal place to build new vehicles. The study will be used as a recruiting tool for Jackson County.
Troy University will conduct research along with Chipola College to discover the economic impact for the entire state. County Administrator Ted Lakey says Jackson County is located in an ideal location for a plant, "It seems to be a trend, car manufactures are locating in the south east. I know initially it started in Tuscaloosa Alabama with Mercedes plant and they now have a couple other manufacturing plants, so we are hoping by being a part of the south east we will get a look at also."
Opportunity Florida will work with Troy University and Chipola College to complete the study. The goal is to identify how placing a manufacturing plant in Jackson County will be economically beneficial to the county, surrounding counties and the entire state of Florida.
Then the study will be presented to the state in hopes of approval and funding. Marianna City Manager Jim Dean says the impact of a plant would be felt throughout the state, "Because if you have a large manufacturing facility that is going to hire over five hundred possibly over a thousand people well then you employment base is not going to be just Jackson County, its going to be every surrounding county to include Alabama too."
The survey is set to begin in the coming weeks. According to Dean and Lakey, the county has already provided it has land to build the plant on.