In a special Marianna City Commission meeting Tuesday afternoon, Bill Stanton presented the commissioner and city manager Jim Dean with the Florida Economic Development Council’s Rural Deal of the Year award. The award was presented to Stanton as director of the Jackson County Development Council earlier this month.
In making the presentation, Stanton gave full credit to the city of Marianna and Jim Dean, “I want to emphasize the teamwork that was involved in putting together this project. Jim Dean and myself negotiated the whole thing in late 2016 and they got started in early 2017 and of course the award is for 2017. But this project could not have developed without the partnership with JCDC, the City of Marianna, and Jim Dean specifically.”
Stanton said the ‘deal’ was Catalyst Fabric Solutions, a company whose ultimate goal is 300 jobs within three years of their startup date of January of 2017. Stanton said they are presently at 172 jobs with 25 jobs being added following a recent job fair. Stanton said that Catalyst had laid off workers following the Christmas season but had picked those back up and added the 25 from the job fair.
The characteristics of the deal include an Anchor for a large, visible building previously closed for six years. Partial replacement of 1,100 jobs lost from 1999 in the same industry, and 400 jobs lost from 2006 in the same building complex. “Re-shoring” of an industry that went “off shore” in late 1990’s. Strong, community-minded corporation to provide 300-plus jobs within three years. A capital investment of at least $3,000,000 was made by Catalyst Fabric Solutions; $1.4 million from the Governor’s Closing Fund was used to improve and “repurpose” the city-owned facility; $2.46 million in Community Development Block Grant funds by the State of Florida to improve infrastructure, paving, and fire protection in the Marianna Airport Commerce Park (building’s location), and a $312,500 Quick Response Training (QRT) grant was initialized to train 125 members of the initial workforce. The company’s annual payroll will be over $11 million at total employment level of 300 jobs.
This game-changing rural deal of the year is awarded to Jackson County Development Council. Congratulations to Bill Stanton, Jim Dean, JCDC, and the City of Marianna on their accomplishment.