Although the U.S. - China Manufacturing is to encourage investment into the United States, many small town leaders are hoping to land a major manufacturing deal for their community.
During Thursday's session, leaders from Dothan, AL; Thomasville, AL; Center Point, AL; Monroe County, AL; Huntersville, NC; and South Carolina had five minutes each to recruit industry to their community.
For Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz, he knew the work he's put in over the past two years has been more important.
“That's one reason we've been to china 4 times, to create the relationships. We can't sell it in 5 minutes. But by getting to know them, a lot of the guests we've seen and the companies. No, five minutes won't do it, but we're working on the rest,” said Schmitz.
He said the city has already made progress by simply having them there.
“I think it's another step. I think by having them come here and enjoying the hospitality of our people as they say, it is about relationships. then that opens up the door to the real business. And then you can sit down and see what they need and if it fits our business. But to get to that point is what we're doing today,” said Schmitz.
Thomasville Mayor Sheldon Day has already landed a company, Golden, Dragon. The copper tube factory opens in May and will employ hundreds. He has advice for Wiregrass leaders.
“Be who you are and be the best at who you are. Every community is unique. Every community had assets and every community has challenges,” said Day.
Schmitz already knows the city's assets.
“It's low land cost. The lowest energy cost in the us. Hard working people who would be proud to work
for their company,” said Schmitz.
Schmitz also added that he hopes to have an announcement about the 3-D Printing Company some time this week. While it may not be many jobs, having that type of technology in the Wiregrass could mean big things for the future.