A South Georgia manufactured home builder broke ground Thursday on a 128,000-square-foot plant in Millen, Ga., where it expects to employ up to 100 full-time workers by year’s end.
Waycross, Ga.-based ScotBilt Homes Inc. said its facility will initially start up with 50 full-time employees but will reach full employment once the operation is certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which sets fire safety and building standards for manufactured homes.
The plant, a fabricated all-metal building that will be assembled at 1415 Chestnut Ave., is expected to be completed in 120 days.
The family-owned company said in a statement Thursday it was excited to be part of the Jenkins County community, which is where it expects to hire the majority of its workers. Locals already have been hired for key positions, including plant manager.
“We want to be a long-term member of Millen and the surrounding community,” General Manager Dale Gilliland said. “ScotBilt will hire employees from the community. To date, we have not transferred any employees from Waycross.”
The April unemployment rate for Jenkins County, the latest figure available from the Georgia Department of Labor, was 6.7 percent, which is 2 percentage points higher than the state average.
ScotBilt said the county’s availability of workers with construction experience and negotiations with officials from Millen and the Jenkins County Development Authority were deciding factors in choosing the town for its expansion.
Millen Mayor King Rocker, who also is chairman of the Jenkins County Development Authority, called the groundbreaking event a “great day for our community.”
“ScotBilt Homes has committed to build their new facility in Millen and we are very excited for the opportunity to work with them,” Rocker said. “ScotBilt will be a key contributor to our local economy for many years to come.”
ScotBilt is owned by the Scott family; CEO Sam Scott, President Greg Scott and Board Chairman Sherry Scott. The company employs 250 in Waycross.
The county’s development authority said it plans to host a job fair for open positions at the future plant over the summer.