Development Authority chief upbeat on Fayette

A long-time Tyrone company recently announced that it would be relocating to Coweta County. But Fayette County Development Authority CEO Matt Forshee said there are a number of other companies looking at a potential move into Fayette County.

Fayette did not have a building of the size needed by Tyrone’s Custom Molded Products, said Forshee, adding that the much larger building CMP found in Coweta County “was a good deal for them as a company.”

That said, Forshee said he has spoken recently with a number of other companies located both in the U.S. and overseas, that are potentially interested in locating in Fayette.

“Based on what we’re seeing, for a lot of U.S. manufacturers, it’s becoming more cost-effective to bring their jobs back from overseas,” Forshee said. “If the economy holds and the dollars are available that should continue. America is still a solid investment for companies in or out of the United States.”

Citing an example of a recent inquiry, Forshee said he spoke with a company that has shown interest in a building that has sat vacant for more than two years.

Forshee said that while the authority has historically focused on recruiting, that stance is changing. FCDA in conjunction with Peachtree City, and in a move approved by the Peachtree City Council in April, has hired former Cox Media employee and 15-year Fayette resident Chris Daniel as the new Business Retention and Expansion Manager.

“Chris will be focusing on existing industry, primarily in Peachtree City along the Ga. Highway 74 corridor,” Forshee said. “He will be working on helping existing businesses grow and maintain their operations base in Peachtree City by focusing on opportunities for networking, shared training, supplier assistance, trade assistance, innovation and other expansion and retention programs.”

In another issue pertaining to local industry, industrial manufacturer Eaton Corp. is looking to purchase electrical products manufacturer Cooper Industries for $11.8 billion. Two divisions of the company, Cooper Lighting and Cooper Wiring Devices, are headquartered in Peachtree City.

“The deal has been announced but not approved. It’s a multi-month process. Both their portfolios overlap, but not much. I don’t see the companies moving or having major layoffs. And Cooper’s activity is growing,” Forshee said. “Eaton has not historically been strong in the energy sector, so this acquisition should give them a new foothold and should have little impact locally.”