Houston County’s newest industry is now in production.
Sandler Nonwoven Corp. started up two weeks ago, plant President Tobias Baumgaertel told the Houston County Development Authority on Wednesday.
The authority held its regular monthly meeting at the plant, which is operating in what had been the county’s speculative building. Sandler Nonwoven, part of the German company Sandler AG, was the first to occupy it after it sat vacant for many years.
Those in attendance got a tour of the plant, but no photos were allowed. Baumgaertel said the company has a strict policy against photos in the production area because competitors are keenly interested in how the plant operates.
He told the board he appreciates the effort made to get the company to Houston County, and he wants to return the favor by helping lure more companies.
“Whenever I can give you support, I would be happy to do so to give you back what you have given us,” he said.
The company makes non-woven cotton fabric that is used in hygiene products such as baby wipes and tampons. Baumgaertel said the company has hired 10 people locally who are working with 15 German employees. The Germans are here temporarily to get the plant started.
In about a year, he said, the company will employ about 40 people. Within five years the plant expects to employ about 140 people.
The plant itself is a hygienic environment, and those entering it must sanitize their hands first.
The county recently received the Deal of the Year award from the Georgia Economic Developers Association for the effort to locate the plant in Perry.
Baumgaertel said after the meeting he is happy with how the plant start-up has gone. Anyone who wants to apply for a job at the plant can go to www.sandler-nonwoven.com.