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German firm buys site here

Wants to break ground in spring

POSTED: October 16, 2013 4:00 a.m.

A German-based leader in welding and exhaust safety equipment recently bought more than 15 acres near Ga. 400 in Dawson County for its North American operations.

Kemper America purchased the property off Carlisle Road in the summer with plans to build a 20,000-square-foot facility.

Initially intended to house Kemper's sales and warehousing, the facility could, over the long term, also include manufacturing and dozens of new jobs.

President Ben Howell hopes to break ground in the spring in anticipation of opening by the end of 2014.

"We've been in business in Georgia for the last 17 years, but we've always rented our facility," Howell said. "We're growing by about 20 percent each year and need more space."

Established in 1977, Kemper is a leader in systematic air purification at welding work places. Kemper America produces welding and exhaust safety equipment.

One of 22 German corporations in Forsyth County, Howell said the movement north could be an economic driver for additional international industry in Dawson County.

"More and more companies are moving operations, and it just takes one for the others to follow," he said.

According to Howell, the land's proximity to Ga. 400 and a number of current clients played a role in choosing to relocate from south Forsyth.

"We have a very good relationship with Impulse Manufacturing," said Howell, adding the manufacturer also uses Kemper welding products.

Local officials welcome the prospect of new business to the county.

"Any new business that comes in and brings jobs and tax dollars, we're definitely interested. It looks like a good company and we're excited they chose Dawson County," said Mike Berg, chairman of the Dawson County commission.

 

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