By Johnny Jackson
A new trucking company is expected to add 70 new jobs for residents in Henry County within the next two years, according to officials with the Utah-based Simon Transport, LLC.
Simon Transport, also known as SIMON, is expanding its shipping operations to leverage national growth trends in the southern and western states, and has opened an office in McDonough, according to Glen Lowry, director of business development for SIMON.
"McDonough will help us provide better regional service and provide extended service hours for our business," said Lowry. "All of the Southeast and eastern seaboard will be covered by the office in McDonough. It will be the basis for our eastern operations."
SIMON is a logistics management services company that provides brokerage, long-haul, and semi-tractor services to customers in the contiguous 48 states. The company employs 40 individuals nationwide at its four other offices in: Salt Lake City, Utah; Springville, Utah; Wendell, Idaho; and Tooele, Utah.
An economic turnaround and growth in the transportation sector has begun in some areas of the South and West, which is encouraging to the company, according to SIMON President and Founder Lyn Simon.
"We are anxious to increase our exposure to markets in the Southeast -- while expanding our connections for Western customers," Simon said. "Establishing our presence in the South will accelerate SIMON's growth for both regions."
Lowry said SIMON opened its newest office, at 1535 Pennsylvania Avenue in McDonough, two weeks ago. He said the office currently employs six individuals and plans are in place to begin more hiring to create a local company workforce of nearly 70 people by the end of 2011.
The McDonough office was chosen through a three-state selection process, among Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina, which began last December, according to Lowry.
He said the office, the first SIMON facility in the South, was chosen because of its interstate access, available workforce, and favorable environment for facility and land acquisition.
"Favorable long-term tax incentives and workforce training were important economic factors in the selection decision," Lowry said.
"We're excited to see organizations like SIMON come into Henry County," said Bob White, executive director of the Henry County Development Authority. "New job creation in the transportation sector is a welcomed addition and comes in part because of our proximity to Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and a significant number of large corporations --many with shipping needs to the West Coast."
Lowry said the McDonough office has gotten a large response from interested would-be employees. "We love the place down here," Lowry said. "We've had such a deluge of people wanting to come over.
"We're starting, right now, with just a small office," he said. "But we anticipate growing [through 2011]. At that time, we'd be transferring a terminal."
To learn more about SIMON, visit the web site at www.simontransport.com.