A delegation from Century is heading to Dothan this week, in hopes of luring businesses and jobs from China to north Escambia County.
The Century Town Council last month approved about $3,700 in economic development funding to staff the U.S.-China Manufacturing Symposium on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Mayor Freddie McCall is leading the entourage from Century – which is the only small community in the Florida Panhandle to be invited.
“We were fortunate to get an invitation from the mayor of Dothan to come over last month, and help organize the meeting that’s coming up,” says McCall. “Now we’re going to go back and meet with a group of investors from China, and have an opportunity to sit and talk with them, and try to sell Century to them.”
Also making the trip are a town consultant and a representative from the Century Chamber of Commerce. Organized by the China Chamber of International Commerce and SoZo Group, the symposium is expected to be attended by about 400 Chinese companies looking to locate in the United States.
The current workforce at the Golden Dragon plant in Thomasville, Alabama is expected to triple over the next year or so. McCall and his group will pitch the town, in part by listing the space that’s available for industries looking for somewhere to locate.
“We’ve got a 40,000 square foot building ready to move into right now; a 135 acre industrial park….for someone to move into,” said the Mayor. “Plus we got other acreage in town, a 35 acre parcel of land, and a 25 acre parcel of land.”
China is the United States’ third largest export market. According to the Department of Commerce, China shipped $440 billion in goods to the U-S in 2013, while getting back $122 billion. That’s a record $318 billion trade deficit for the United States.