Council approves agreements, confirms local job training
The Franklin City Council voted Monday night, Sept. 27, to unanimously approve both a performance agreement and the purchase and sale agreement with Global Concentrate for 170 acres of industrial land in the Pretlow Industrial Park.
Global Concentrate, which has international operations, is a New Jersey-based supplier for traditional and organic fruit and vegetable juice concentrates, purees, puree concentrates, not-from-concentrate juices and individual-quick-freezing products and will use the space in the Pretlow Industrial Park to establish the company’s largest processing operation in the U.S.
Franklin City Manager Amanda C. Jarratt and Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc. President and CEO Karl Heck also confirmed that efforts will be made to put Franklin citizens in a good position to claim the 50 full-time jobs that Global Concentrate will bring to the city.
An FSEDI press release stated that the 50 new full-time jobs will be created in Franklin within 36 months.
Prior to the council’s vote, Heck stated that it was his understanding that Global Concentrate representatives had signed the purchase and sale agreement before they left town after the Sept. 24 press conference announcing the deal, so they were just waiting for the city’s approval to go ahead.
Heck said that after the council’s approval and the signing, Global Concentrate will “go into their due diligence process, and hopefully they’ll be closing sometime in November.”
Jarrett told council members, “Our plan would be to close the week of Thanksgiving at your City Council meeting that Monday.”
Moments later, Jarrett referenced the incoming processing center when she said, “Now is when the really hard work starts — getting it built. So this (approval) is the first step for us to take in order to be able to close, and we will be laser-focused — Mr. Heck, myself and the staff — on getting everything in order from the city side so that they can begin construction as soon as possible.”
Heck added, “We’ve been answering their due diligence questions already, so we’re working on that as they come up.”
Ward 3 Councilman Gregory McLemore asked if there would be any sort of training at Paul D. Camp Community College so that when the new jobs become available, they could go to some of Franklin’s citizens because they had been trained for them.
“Yes,” Heck said, adding that McLemore’s question was the first one Global Concentrate representatives had when they recently arrived in the city from Turkey.
“They will send their qualified, certified people here to train our people,” Jarratt said. “So we plan to get them in touch with (Camp Community College Interim President Dr. Corey) McCray as soon as that makes sense to do in the order of operations, as well as Mr. (Shawn) Avery with the (Hampton Roads) Workforce Council and then the local high schools.”
“Because that’s just my concern that we have jobs available for our citizens,” McLemore said. “I’d like to be able to know that our citizens are prepared to fill those positions when they become available.”