Chattooga County Commissioner Jason Winters spoke to the Chattooga County Democratic Party last night fresh off of his economic development trip to Germany.
Commissioner Winters traveled to Germany at his own expense to meet with suppliers for the Volkswagen Plant that will be built in Chattanooga.
Winters said that 30-40 suppliers for the plant met with representatives from Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee to discuss ways local government can meet attract suppliers to the area.
According to Winters many of the suppliers are looking to locate around 30 to 40 miles away from the plant in Chattanooga to take advantage of lower labor rates and greater tax incentives. Winters was one of only two elected officials at the meeting, the other being Mayor Ron Littlefield from Chattanooga.
Originally Volkswagen had planned to use many of the suppliers that currently manufacture for the Mercedes Plant in Alabama, however because of the current economic downturn the auto maker is planning to re-bid all of its supply contracts which will open the door for more suppliers to build or lease plants in the area. Winters said that because of the location and demographics and incentives that could be offered Chattooga County has a good shot at some of these suppliers.
State Senator Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga) was also in attendance at the meeting in Germany along with a representative from Floyd County and other local leaders.
Winters stated that on the trip he was able to meet Billy Joe Camp, former Secretary of State of Alabama during Governor Wallace’s administration, who was a major player in Mercedes-Benz decision to locate their manufacturing facility in Tuscaloosa.
Winters stated that he is “proud Chattooga County is a member of the German-American Chamber of Commerce” and that he is optimistic with Chattooga County’s chances of attracting industry associated with the new Volkswagen facility.
Tune in Friday afternoon at 12:45 for a NEWSMAKERS program with Commissioner Winters regarding his recent trip to Germany.