Image Entry moving to Georgiana

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 24, 2000

Image Entry President and CEO Bill Deaton announced this week the company has presented a formal bid to the City of Georgiana for the purchase of the former PrideCraft building on Highway 31 and has plans underway to convert the manufacturing facility into a data processing office complex that will employ as many as 200 people from throughout the area within 18 months of the start of operations there.

Deaton said the decision to come to Butler County was based on positive response the company received from a labor survey conducted at the site a few weeks ago. The survey attracted more than 1,100 interested job-seekers to a short interview process with company officials which Deaton says demonstrates Butler County's dedication to bringing new industry into the local economy.

"The entire Butler County community has really opened up its arms and made us feel wanted," Deaton said. "And that was really important in our decision to locate our new facility in Georgiana.

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"We were very pleased with the quality of the people we met at the labor survey, and I think this move will be very positive for our company and the community."

Deaton said his company has been looking for a facility in rural Alabama for more than two months since it was awarded a multi-million dollar contract to do personal income tax processing for the state. He said the new facility will not only allow the London, Kentucky based data processing firm to fulfill obligations with the new state contract and other business the company has in this area, but will also help it expand its presence in the South and increase its business overall.

"We were looking for a rural area in which to open our new center because we feel that is where we can make the most impact," Deaton said. "We are a small company, made up of small town people, and that is where we want to be."

Deaton said the building in Georgiana will have to undergo extensive retrofitting before operations can begin there. Currently the building is set up as a manufacturing facility, and will need to be remodeled to create the office-style environment necessary for the company's work.

He said the first step in this process will be the completion of a training facility so new employees can begin training in the use of the company's equipment and procedures.

"We will begin training as soon as we can complete a training facility in the building," Deaton said. "Then we can identify our initial nucleus of people and begin training them on what we do."

He said the company expects to begin operations in Georgiana sometime between July 1 and August 1 depending on how quickly the building can be retrofitted.

Georgiana Mayor Lynn Harold Watson said the company offered the Georgiana Industrial Development Board full asking price of $150,000 for the building, but asked that a few improvements be made as part of the deal.

"We are going to be laying down some carpet and installing a firewall," Watson said. "Plus we will be doing some improvements to the parking lot around the building."

He said the city is excited that Image Entry has finally made a commitment to Georgiana.

"We are going to get the improvements made to the building as soon as possible so they can go ahead and get operations started," he said. "We are excited they have decided to come here and we are anxious to make them part of our community."