Anniversaries don’t come every day. Twenty-fifth anniversaries are a rarity. But after being in business 25 years, Orlaco has grown into a global company that has chosen Jasper as its first North American headquarters. Bringing around 65 jobs to Pickens County, the heavy equipment camera operation is proud of their new “home.”
Around 100 people attended the company’s ribbon-cutting today held at its facility at 33 Confederate Avenue in Jasper. Smiles abounded as people recognized the opportunity afforded north Georgia in this global company’s faith effort in choosing Jasper.
Orlaco’s Executive Director Henri van Beusekom says he’s had a vision and a journey but at the end of it all
“it’s a people business…this is what it’s all about. It’s not about the technical stuff, it’s not laws, it’s people. I feel that the people here have a positive drive.”
Jasper Mayor John Weaver talked about how when he first met Governor Deal 20 years ago, the current site of Orlaco was a pine thicket. In that moment 20 years ago when he talked to the then-freshman congressman about supporting the city’s efforts to develop, what he did was called speculation.
“Today, with the governors being here we’re going to call that forward-thinking,”
Orlaco’s Chief of Business Development Kurt Dekker was approached by a fellow Dutch citizen who is an ambassador for the state about investing in the state of Georgia.
“I am confident that he is right,”
He supported that by pointing out the technical education opportunities, a strong automotive industry and the transportation avenues that make getting their products out to their customers an advantage.
“The support we’ve received from the state of Georgia, the city of Jasper, Pickens County, the Chamber of Commerce, we’ve really, really felt this warm welcome. We really want to expand in your city and in your county,”
In his speech, Governor Nathan Deal expressed confidence in Orlaco’s vision and in the statewide effort to make Georgia’s environment attractive to businesses.
“We are pleased you have chosen the state of Georgia and this part of north Georgia to be the home of your North American headquarters. We believe it’s just the beginning of something great.”
He recognized Representative Rick Jasperse and Senator Steve Gooch who traveled with him to participate in the ceremony despite being in-session at the Capitol. He defined again the reasons Orlaco chose this area but went further in outlining a qualified work force as another factor.
With the state’s eye focused upon education and remaining number one in the country for business, he anticipates this trend to continue. Deal said Orlaco is one of about 180 Dutch companies who’ve chosen Georgia as the state in which they want to conduct business and as such, became ambassadors for the global community.
“I have every reason to believe that Orlaco will become that ambassador for you in this community.”
Attendees seemed to agree.
Pickens County Chamber Director Denise Duncan said,
“The Chamber is looking forward to offering support in the growth of their business.”
“We need jobs and Gerry (Nechvatal, Economic Development Director) is doing a great job getting them here,”
reported County Commissioner Jerry Barnes.
Jobs were also at the top of Commissioner Becky Denney’s mind as she expressed her thanks. She said,
“I am incredibly excited about the jobs created for our county. It’s something that’s been needed a long time. I hope it’s just the beginning of other companies considering us in the future. I wish them the best of luck!”
See slideshow here:
To watch video of all speeches, please see the following: