JEFFERSON — Gov. Sonny Perdue joined with Jackson County officials Monday to mark the opening of Systemax's new TigerDirect retail store, which is expected to create 400 jobs in the Jefferson area over the next five years.
Ginger Brown described the grand opening celebration as "a big day all around for me."
Brown is one of the first new hires for the company, which is a leading retailer of personal computers, laptops, computer-related accessories, TVs, phones and other technology supplies.
Systemax will have a distribution center and retail store on 40 acres just off Interstate 85 in Jefferson and a 450,000-square-foot warehouse.
"The company's decision to come here is a great win for job-seekers in the region and will provide a real boost to the local economy," Perdue said.
Systemax CEO Richard Leeds, whose business experience in Georgia began 25 years ago, complimented the state on how well it works on behalf of business.
The Georgia Department of Labor assisted with hiring and background checks for employees and the state assisted with training through Georgia Quick Start, said Leeds, who added that the involvement of the state and local governments made possible the company's fifth location in Georgia. Other locations are in Buford, Suwanee and Norcross.
"The new Georgia facility is an integral component in Systemax's growth strategy for our North American consumer and business customers," Leeds said. "The facility's ideal location and talent pool availability will allow us to better serve the needs of our growing customer base and create a significant boost of Georgia's economy."
Lawrence P. Reinhold, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Systemax, said the company is looking forward to the expansion in Jackson County and investing $15 million in the facility.
"We are very happy to be here," Reinhold said.
Systemax opened its global industrial facility in the late 1980s and employs nearly 300 in its 800,000-square-foot facility in Buford.
"We are extremely fortunate and grateful to have Systemax in our community," Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Shane Short said. "Systemax brought a significant number of new jobs and a new industry category to Jackson County. For the first time, our citizens can purchase the type of electronics that they used to have to drive to other counties to purchase."
Jefferson Mayor Jim Joiner said the possibility of attracting 400 jobs to the community was exciting and work got under way several months ago to entice Systemax to come to the area.
With Systemax's anticipation of $60 million in sales, the county can expect to reap $600,000 a year in sales tax.
"What a great day to be a Georgian and a Jackson Countian," said State Rep. Tommy Benton, who introduced Gov. Perdue.
Perdue complimented Jackson County as "a community that will continue to grow because of good leadership and good partners."
Acknowledging he is "a little geeky and nerdy," Perdue said he looks forward to returning to check out the technology offered inside the retail store.