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Thomson Plastics celebrates expansion with ceremony

Thomson Plastics celebrated the success of its recent expansion with a ceremony Friday. Approximately 80 representatives, including the company's customers, suppliers and financial partners, as well as local officials, attended the reception held at the plant on Warrenton Highway in Thomson.

"This growth could not have been possible without all of you -- our customers, suppliers, employees, members of the community, board members and service providers," CEO Jerry Harrison said.

Several people came from as far away as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Connecticut. Elizabeth Burgess, of Altus Capital Partners in Connecticut, showed her dedication to the company by passing up an opportunity to go to New York.

"Elizabeth was invited to Wall Street to ring the bell at the opening of the day, and because of us, she's here," Mr. Harrison said during the ceremony. "So, she could've been in The Wall Street Journal tomorrow, but instead, she's going to be in The McDuffie Mirror."

In February, Thomson Plastics began consolidating its plant in Sandersville with the Thomson location, adding 50,000 square feet to the facility, 24 machines and 70 employees to the 210 already working there.

"February to June is the busiest time of year for us, and we didn't miss a beat supplying our customers throughout the move and building," Mr. Harrison said. "We didn't add a football team to get it all done, either. We did it with our staff, and that's typical of the kind of good people we have here in our workforce."

Thomson Plastics is a custom plastic injection molder, making parts primarily for Club Car in Augusta. The company began in 1961 in Mississippi, but Club Car requested it move closer to the Augusta area in the early 1990s.

During the ceremony, Mr. Harrison credited McDuffie County Industrial Development Authority chairman Riley Stamey, real estate agent and insurer Andy Knox, former County Commission chairwoman Joyce Blevins and former Thomson City Administrator Dwayne Patrick for influencing his decision to move the company to Thomson.

He also credited Mr. Stamey, Forward McDuffie director Mike Carrington, McDuffie County Commission chairman Charlie Newton, Thomson Mayor Kenneth Usry, City Administrator Don Powers, County Administrator Don Norton and local bankers George Lokey and David Jopling for supporting the company throughout its history, which includes five expansions since the move to Thomson.

"This community is business-driven," Mr. Harrison said. "They seem to have an understanding of what businesses need. These guys do very well and know how to get things done."

If business continues as it is, Mr. Harrison said they will be employing 350 people by February or March of 2010.

Although they moved to Thomson with Club Car as their only customer, Thomson Plastics now also makes products for Husqvarna, Briggs and Stratton, Ingersoll Rand, Trane Air Conditioning, Milsco Manufacturing, Trojan Battery and Honda Power Equipment.

Web posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009

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