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Gov. Deal set to visit Newton for BioScience Training Center groundbreaking

COVINGTON — Gov. Nathan Deal is set to visit Newton County in order to be part of the Georgia BioScience Training Center’s groundbreaking.

On Monday, the Technical College System of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Economic Development will host a ceremony to break ground on the site at Stanton Springs where the new training facility will be constructed.

The center is being built in addition to Baxter International, a $1 billion manufacturing campus, where plasma-based therapies that treat chronic and life-threatening illnesses will be made.

Newton Commission Chairman Keith Ellis said while the initial use is to train Baxter employees, he hopes in the future it could be used by other industries that come into Newton County.

“The training center impacts Newton County and not only the four counties – Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton – involved, but I expect those surrounding counties as well,” Ellis said. “We will see people from Gwinnett and Butts counties to potentially come to work for Baxter. But of course, my first preference is training employees in the four counties.”

The bio-tech training center will be operated and funded by Georgia QuickStart, a program administered by Athens Technical College, and will provide customized training to meet Baxter’s start-up needs and build capacity and curricula within the Technical College System of Georgia for maintaining a long-term pipeline of highly skilled employees who are well-trained in bio-manufacturing operations.

This facility will house state of the art laboratory spaces, classrooms, computer labs, meeting rooms, administrative spaces and all associated storage and functional spaces. The building will also include a large multipurpose conference space and a small general food service area that can also serve the conference rooms.

Ellis said the facility and Baxter wouldn’t have been a possibility without Deal.

“We appreciate everything Nathan Deal has done for the county; he is a friend and without him we would not have Baxter,” Ellis said. “Gov. Deal has been successful in making Georgia No. 1 in business, and it’s my goal to have Newton County be the No. 1 county to do business in the state.”

The groundbreaking will take place at 10 a.m. Monday on the site of the facility, but will not be open to the public, according to Ellis.