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dalton-whitfield

economic development guide


businessclimate.com/dalton

Innovation Central

Plastics, chemical companies thrive in Dalton

Reviving restaurants, retail and recreation

Downtown Renaissance

Rays of Opportunity

Region embraces solar power, sustainability

SpOnSOReD by the DaltOn-WhItfIelD COunty jOInt DevelOpment authORIty | 2012

dalton-whitfield
economic development guide

Workstyle
Innovation Central
Plastic, chemical companies thrive in Dalton

12 16 20

Downtown Renaissance
Reviving restaurants, retail and recreation

Rays of Opportunity
Region embraces solar power, sustainability

Insight
Overview almanac business Climate 5 6 8 24 26 30 34 36

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transportation education health livability economic profile

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On the COveR Renewable energy projects are growing across the Greater Dalton region. Photo by Antony boshier

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Digital Edition
Innovation Central
Plastics, chemical companies thrive in Dalton
Story by Bill Lewis Photography by Antony Boshier

F
BY THE NUMBERS

520,000
Square feet of new IVC facility that will house the worlds longest vinyl line.

65 jobs
Number of new jobs recently created by plastics and chemical companies in the Dalton region.

rom the carpet under your feet to the facial tissues on the nightstand, household products that make life more comfortable are made with chemicals produced in Dalton. We dont make those products we make those products better, says Vann Brown, president of ArrowStar. ArrowStar and its sister companies, PolyStar and StarChem, manufacture advanced chemicals used in everything from paper and textiles to flooring. ArrowStar counts Dow Chemical Company and DuPont among its major customers. We have 14 acres dedicated to the chemical industry, Brown says of the companys manufacturing and research facilities in Dalton. We have all the chemists and all the technology to focus on any industry. Consumers may never be aware of those chemicals, but they are everywhere. Take facial tissue, for example. We make silicones that are used in tissue softeners, so if you blow your nose, you dont wear it out, Brown says.

$2 million
Recent expansion investment by Standridge Color Corp.

IDEAL FOR INNOVATION ArrowStar is one of many advanced chemical and plastics companies that call Dalton and Whitfield County home. World famous for carpet manufacturing, the area is also becoming a magnet for companies that produce products used in oil wells, food packaging and more.

Like International Polymerics Inc. (IPI), all of them are thriving. IPI, which imports guar from India and Pakistan and turns it into products used by the carpet and oil well drilling industries, is adding a new production facility and creating 20 new jobs, bringing employment to 60. The oil industry is growing so fast that were using a lot of this material, says IPI founder and president Donald Bramblett. Guar powder manufactured in Dalton is injected into deep underground wells to keep oil and natural gas flowing smoothly to the surface. The oil and gas business is booming, and thats good for IPI. Weve been working 24/7 for two years, Bramblett says. IPI in Dalton also supplies guar used in carpet dyes. Divisions in Minnesota and Wyoming make guar used in food products and explosives. Most of IPIs customers are in Western states, but Bramblett plans to keep his headquarters in Dalton. With its interstate connections, available workforce, dependable electrical power, ample water supply and extensive waste treatment facilities, the city is an ideal location, he says.
LOCATION OF CHOICE Another growing enterprise, Puma Polymers, recently expanded to Dalton, which president Gerret Peters Jr. describes as our location of choice. Puma Polymers develops and manufactures

Daltons location, resources and workforce has helped International Polymerics Inc. president Donald Bramlett grow his business.

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B U S ISNI E S S C L ILM M T E .EC. O M MD A L T O N N BU NESSC I A AT C O / / D A LT O

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745 College Dr. Ste. B Dalton, GA 30720 (706) 259-2586 Tel (706) 278-3569 Fax

www.mbnlaw.com

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D a lt O n - W h I t f I e l D

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economic development guide
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Innovation Central

chairman GREG thuRman prESidEnt/publiShEr BoB schWaRtzman ExEcutivE vicE prESidEnt Ray lanGEn SEnior v.p./SalES toDD PottER SEnior v.p./opErationS casEy hEstER SEnior v.p./cliEnt dEvElopmEnt JEFF hEEFnER SEnior v.p./buSinESS dEvElopmEnt scott tEmPlEton SEnior v.p./agribuSinESS publiShing kim holmBERG v.p./buSinESS dEvElopmEnt chaRlEs FitzGiBBon v.p./ExtErnal communicationS tEREE caRuthERs v.p./viSual contEnt maRk FoREstER v.p./contEnt opErationS natasha loREns v.p./travEl publiShing susan chaPPEll v.p./SalES hERB haRPER, JaREk sWEkosky controllEr chRis DuDlEy SEnior accountant lisa oWEns accountS payablE coordinator maRia mcFaRlanD accountS rEcEivablE coordinator Diana Guzman SalES Support coordinator alEx maRks SalES Support projEct managEr saRa quint SyStEm adminiStrator DaniEl cantREll databaSE managEr/it Support chanDRa BRaDshaW WEb crEativE dirEctor allison Davis WEb contEnt managEr John hooD WEb projEct managEr noy FonGnaly WEb dESignEr ii RichaRD stEvEns WEb dEvElopmEnt lEad yamEl hall WEb dEvElopEr i nEls nosEWoRthy photography dirEctor JEFFREy s. otto crEativE SErvicES dirEctor chRistina caRDEn crEativE tEchnology analySt BEcca aRy audiEncE dEvElopmEnt dirEctor DEanna nElson diStribution dirEctor GaRy smith ExEcutivE SEcrEtary kRisty Duncan human rESourcES managEr PEGGy BlakE rEcEptioniSt linDa BishoP

Plastics, chemical companies thrive in Dalton

Reviving restaurants, retail and recreation

Downtown Renaissance

lifestyle
Find out what its like to live here and what makes the community such a special place to be.

Rays of Opportunity

Region embraces solar power, sustainability

SpOnSOReD by the DaltOn-WhItfIelD COunty jOInt DevelOpment authORIty | 2012

Read the magazine on your computer, zoom in on articles and link to advertiser websites. SIte GuIDe >> Find available commercial and industrial properties with our searchable database. SuCCeSS bReeDS SuCCeSS >> meet the people who set the pace for business innovation. DIG DeepeR >> Plug into the community with links to local websites and resources to give you a big picture of the region. DemOGRaphICS >> a wealth of demographic and statistical information puts the community at your fingertips.

Workstyle
a spotlight on the regions innovative companies

Dalton Whitfield Economic Development Guide is published annually by Journal communications inc. and is distributed through the Dalton Whitfield Development authority. For advertising information or to direct questions or comments about the magazine, contact Journal communications inc. at (615) 771-0080 or by email at info@jnlcom.com.

fOR mORe InfORmatIOn, COntaCt:


Dalton-Whitfield county Joint Development authority 890 college Drive Dalton, Ga 30720 Phone: (706) 278-7373 Fax: (706) 226-8739 daltonwhitfieldeconomicdevelopment.com

viSit Dalton WhitfielD economic Development GuiDe onlinE at buSinESSclimatE.com/dalton


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Specializing in environmentally responsible chemistry to meet all of your needs

Manufacturer of specialty chemicals for:


Textiles/carpet Pulp and paper Consumer care Chemical intermediates Custom manufacturing at the customers request call us for your specific needs Specialty organic synthesis

P.O. Box 2686 Dalton, GA 30722-2686 (706) 277-2981


arrowstarCS@star-na.com

www.arrowstarusa.com

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Overview

Success Stories Created here


businesses Flourish in greater dalton region
located within the foothills of the appalachian mountains, the Greater Dalton area is rich in history, commerce, industry and culture. While Dalton will always be known for its $14 billion carpet and floor covering industry, the region has transformed itself into a center for innovation and research in various high-tech industries, including chemicals, plastics and renewable energy. Just 25 miles south of chattanooga and 85 miles north of atlanta, Dalton is in the heart of northwest Georgia. With half of the nations population within a days drive, the area is ideal for distribution, manufacturing and retail. Daltons solid infrastructure and progressive attitude has helped build its reputation within the region, nation and even internationally as a business-friendly community. in addition to top carpet and flooring companies, national and international companies, including shiroki north america inc., starchem and textile Rubber corporation, as well as many other manufacturing firms, have made Dalton their home. economic and corporate climate for growing businesses. along with possessing the amenities and infrastructure of a manufacturing powerhouse, the regions cost of business is among the lowest in the nation. a strong workforce fuels Daltons manufacturing powerhouse, with two public school systems, a four-year college and a technical college. in addition to its schools and colleges, Dalton is also a Georgia Work Ready certified community a workforce development initiative that assesses real-world skills of Daltons workers, provides job training and helps companies reliably match the right people with the right jobs. Beyond industry and education, Dalton enjoys top-rated health care that contributes to the quality of life and economic growth of the area. hamilton medical center recently earned the Distinguished hospital for clinical Excellence award, ranking it among the nations top 5 percent of hospitals. if youre looking for a businessfriendly community that offers internationally recognized manufacturing capabilities, look no further than Greater Dalton. With its low cost of business, history of innovation, high-tech industries and family-friendly environment, its easy to see why Greater Dalton is an ideal place to live, work and play. For more information, contact: Dalton-Whitfield County joint Development authority 100 South hamilton Street Dalton, Ga 30720-4216 (706) 581-5504 TENNESSEE www.locationdalton.com

Dalton

Cohutta Varnell

the RIGht plaCe anD peOple


carbondale Business Park offers an attractive option for businesses searching for a new location for manufacturing, distribution or retail. the business parks certification by a third party as a Georgia Ready for accelerated Development (GRaD) ensures its speed to meet project timelines and minimizes the risks for relocating and expanding companies. With easy access to i-75, automobile manufacturers in chattanooga and the southeastern u.s. are just a short drive away. since 2009, more than $200 million in private capital has been invested in new plants and plant expansions in Greater Dalton a testament to the areas idyllic

Tunnel Hill
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Rocky Face

Dalton

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WHITFIELD COUNTY
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Almanac
an aquatIC OaSIS
Whitfield countys cohutta fish hatchery is a state-of-the-art facility focused on preserving the purity and integrity of local aquatic life and water resources. the hatchery is facilitating an extensive freshwater mussel propagation study that will eventually release the raised mussels back into the conasauga River. the hatchery is also being renovated to one day provide housing for researchers and students who will help identify and eliminate pollution that threatens existing waterborne resources.

famIly-fRIenDly
located in northeastern Whitfield county, varnell was recently recognized by MSN Real Estate as one of the 10 best places in america to raise a family, and by Bloomberg BusinessWeek as one of the 50 best places to raise kids. votes were based on factors such as median income, property tax rates, crime rates, job opportunities and local resources like schools and community recreation outlets. varnell boasts a median family income of $69,404 in a community of roughly 1,500, and it is part of the Whitfield county school District, which includes varnell Elementary school, new hope middle school and northwest Whitfield high school, among other schools. the community offers a wealth of recreational activities, including hiking trails and topnotch tennis courts and golf courses.

ShOp tIl yOu DROp


if youre a shopaholic, Dalton has plenty of specialty, outlet and antique shops to peruse. Walnut Square mall offers more than 60 stores, including anchor department stores like Belk and JcPenney as well as a carmike cinemas 12 theater. the market street shops of Dalton feature more than 20 outlet stores from top designers and brands. a shopping trip isnt complete without a trip down hamilton Street in downtown Dalton, which boasts an eclectic collection of shops, including notable establishments such as Paper Princess, Fantasy Factory and loganberrys, among others.

P h o t o c o u R t E s y o F m at t h a m i lt o n / t h E D a i ly c i t i z E n

eveRyOneS an aRtISt
From talented weekend performers to adoring aficionados, Daltons artistic outlets offer something for everyone. With roots dating to its first performance in 1869, the dalton little theater is a volunteer-run organization that offers the opportunity to be involved in the production of a play either behind the scenes or in the stages spotlight. For die-hard theater fans, the artistic civic theater has presented more than 100 major productions as well as 15 touring productions and puts on annual musicals and dinner theaters. showcasing a variety of different artistic media, the creative arts guild strives to present art in numerous forms, from music to theater to dance.

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DaltOnS WIlD SIDe


serving as the county seat of Whitfield county, Dalton is a paradise for those who appreciate the beauty and adventure of the outdoors. the city sits at the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, and Whitfield county encompasses part of the chattahoochee national forest. Daltons proximity to nature makes it a natural playground for hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders and atv enthusiasts. For those who prefer to enjoy nature from the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle, the city is located along the cohuttachattahoochee Scenic byway. travelers can explore numerous sites along the byway, including the fort mountain State park and a Forest service campsite at holly creek, before ending at a breathtaking overlook of the cohutta mountains.

a COttaGe InDuStRy IS bORn


Born and raised in Dalton, catherine Evans Whitener was a natural entrepreneur who developed the carpeting technique of tufting chenille in 1895. With this spark of genius, Whitener launched a local industry that would eventually include more than 10,000 cottage tufters. thanks to Whiteners ingenuity, about 90 percent of the carpets made today are tufted chenille. Whitener and Daltons carpeting heritage are now celebrated in exhibits at the hamilton house, a restored antebellum home that hosts the chenille tufting museum and the crown gardens and archives, a modern-day museum that once housed the mill at the center of Daltons carpet industry boom.

a faIR tO RemembeR
Festival-goers come together each year to enjoy arts, crafts, music and food at the praters mill country fair, one of the southeasts most visited autumn festivals. the fair began in 1971 as a way to raise funds to restore the historic Praters mill. since then, it has drawn the support of numerous volunteers and benefactors who have donated time, money and other resources to make the fair an increasingly popular event. over the past 40 years, the fair has grown from 20 exhibits and roughly 1,750 attendees to more than 200 exhibitors and several thousand attendees. Featured in Browns Guide to Georgia and listed by american Bus association as a top 100 event, the fair has been named among the top 20 events in the southeast by the southeast tourism society.
b u S I n e S S C l I m at e . C O m / D a lt O n

Business Climate

Wall-to-Wall Success
dalton diversifies with new industries, incentives
story by John Fuller Photography by Antony Boshier

ith a solid foundation in one industry and an eye on building strength in several more, possibilities for the future of business in the Greater Dalton region are endless. While the regions reputation as the Carpet Capital of the World has served as an effective calling card for industries, city and county leaders have embarked on an aggressive strategy to build on that notoriety by attracting a wider diversity of manufacturers. We have tremendous resources available for a host of businesses to locate here, says Brian Anderson, president of the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce. We have a well-defined economic development strategy and are actively seeking diverse projects to complement our existing industry.
buSIneSSeS expanD, bRInG jObS Armed with excellent transportation and utility assets, creative financing incentives and new

industrial land development, the Greater Dalton region has achieved several key successes toward this objective. Adhesive manufacturer XL Brands announced in early 2011 that it would consolidate its manufacturing operations and build a 122,000-square-foot facility at the new Carbondale Business Park, a Class A industrial park located off I-75. The company purchased a 16.3-acre site on the park property and will employ 50 workers when the plant is completed. XL Brands has been a long-standing corporate citizen in this community and their decision to consolidate operations at our new Carbondale Business Park will strengthen our local economy and provide quality jobs for our community, says Mike Babb, chairman of the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners. Joseph Tuttolomondo, vice president and general manager of XL Brands LLC, says the company is

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Belgium-based ivc u.s. inc., which has operated a distribution facility in Dalton for years, recently chose the region for its north american headquarters.

looking forward to expanding its existing workforce in Dalton. The Joint Development Authority and county officials were extremely helpful in coordinating their efforts to have the industrial park ready for us to build our plant, he says. In May 2011, IVC U.S. Inc. opened its North American headquarters and new manufacturing plant in Dalton. A subsidiary of Belgian-based IVC, the company makes sheet vinyl used in residential flooring. Completion of the $75 million plant brought 115 new jobs to the community, giving it a total of 150 employees in Dalton. IVC, which has operated a distribution facility in Dalton since 2002, decided a few years ago to conduct a nationwide search for its headquarters/ plant site, but found the best option in its own backyard. We reviewed proposals and looked at sites in

many areas of the country, says Xavier Steyaert, chief executive officer of IVC U.S. Inc. Ultimately, weve established strong roots here in the state of Georgia. So many positive factors combined to end our journey where it began back home in Dalton. Along with being a logistical center for the flooring industry, there were several reasons for choosing Dalton, including the pro-business mentality of city and county leaders, solid relationships with local vendors and a flooringskilled labor market, Steyaert says. The 44-acre IVC facility encompasses 520,000 square feet, with another half a million square feet of expansion space. Equipped with state-of-the-art machinery, it features the longest vinyl line in the world and green-friendly technology, such as solar panels and a closed loop water recycling system. Recently, the Dalton-Whitfield County Joint Development Authority purchased a 42-acre tract
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he new state-of the-art lobby at the Courtyard Dalton provides greater flexibility and choices for our guests. The features of our new lobby are inviting, flexible spaces to work or relax in, free Wi-Fi throughout, and easy access to the latest news, weather and airport conditions via our GoBoard. The highlight of our new lobby experience is The Bistro Eat.

Drink. Connect., which provides guests with healthy food and beverage offerings such as Starbucks coffee in the morning and evening dinner service with cocktails. We offer an indoor pool and whirlpool, a gas fire pit in our courtyard area, and a well equipped fitness center. A 24-hour business center and boarding pass printing service is also available. Your stay at the Courtyard Dalton is sure to be

more comfortable, more productive and more enjoyable than ever before.

Courtyard by Marriott 785 College Dr. Dalton, GA 30720 (706) 275-7215 (706) 275-7216 fax

www.marriott.com/chad1

KINARD REALTY
704 S. Thornton Ave. Dalton, GA 30720 www.cbcnorthgeorgia.com www.cbcworldwide.com

(706) 226-1985

Real Living Advantage Real Estate Parker Auction Network


211 West Gordon St. Dalton, GA 30720 (706) 529-6085 Fax: (706) 529-6091 randy.parker@realliving.com www.realliving.com

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Incentives to Invest
greater dalton tailors tax, job programs to company needs
several tax incentive and job-training programs have helped the Greater Dalton region succeed at attracting and retaining businesses. these programs go a long way in helping us tailor a solution for prospective clients, says Elyse cochran, senior vice president of economic development for the Greater Dalton chamber of commerce and executive director of the county Joint Development authority (JDa). many of these programs are tied to job creation. When xl Brands and ivc u.s. inc. expanded their presence in the area, both received industrial revenue bonds from Whitfield county. the Dalton-Whitfield county Joint Development authority is authorized to issue both tax-exempt and taxable industrial revenue bonds for projects that meet state and federal requirements. this type of financing often provides companies with lower interest rates and allows for a negotiated investment payment in lieu of taxes. another attractive program is the job tax credit program for expanding or relocating companies. Basically, the more jobs companies bring in, the more tax credits from the state they will receive.
ivc u.s. inc.s new Dalton plant is home to the worlds longest vinyl line.

jOb tRaInInG thROuGh GeORGIaS quICk StaRt pROGRam


Whitfield county offers job training assistance to new or expanding companies through Georgias quick start Program. Workers at qualified companies can receive training at Georgia northwestern technical college. Georgia northwestern and Dalton state college also provide excellent resources for local companies needing skilled employees or enhancing skills of current employees. investment tax credits are also available, allowing companies that have done business in the state for three or more years to obtain a credit against income tax liability. there is no cookie-cutter formula for assisting a prospective company, cochran says. the JDa works closely with prospective companies to identify state, local and utility incentive packages appropriate for each one. John Fuller

at the Whitfield Properties Business Park to enable Engineered Floors, a floor covering business, to lease and build a new manufacturing facility. The $65 million, 200,000-square-foot facility will employ an anticipated 200 workers when it opens this year, with expansion for an additional 100 workers in the process for late 2012.
mORe OppORtunItIeS fOR GROWth Dalton is hoping to benefit from the recent expansion of the automotive industry in Chattanooga, where Volkswagen began building Passats in its new assembly facility. One auto parts maker, Shiroki Corporation, which makes door frames and other parts for Toyota and Nissan, has already expanded its operations, adding more than 100 jobs in the Dalton community. Lyle Industries, which makes interior products for a range of automakers, has also grown recently. Elyse Cochran, executive director of the Joint Development Authority, says that Greater Daltons solid infrastructure built over the years to support the carpeting industry is very compatible with what is needed to support many other types of companies from other industries, including chemicals, plastics, advanced manufacturing, automotive, data centers and high-end retail projects.

antony BoshiER

b u S I n e S S C l I m at e . C O m / D a lt O n

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By the NumBers

520,000
Square feet of new IvC facility that will house the worlds longest vinyl line.

65 jobs
number of new jobs recently created by plastics and chemical companies in the Dalton region.

$2 million
Recent expansion investment by Standridge Color Corp.

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Innovation Central
plastics, chemical companies thrive in dalton
story by Bill Lewis Photography by Antony Boshier

rom the carpet under your feet to the facial tissues on the nightstand, household products that make life more comfortable are made with chemicals produced in Dalton. We dont make those products we make those products better, says Vann Brown, president of ArrowStar. ArrowStar and its sister companies, PolyStar and StarChem, manufacture advanced chemicals used in everything from paper and textiles to flooring. ArrowStar counts Dow Chemical Company and DuPont among its major customers. We have 14 acres dedicated to the chemical industry, Brown says of the companys manufacturing and research facilities in Dalton. We have all the chemists and all the technology to focus on any industry. Consumers may never be aware of those chemicals, but they are everywhere. Take facial tissue, for example. We make silicones that are used in tissue softeners, so if you blow your nose, you dont wear it out, Brown says.

IDeal fOR InnOvatIOn ArrowStar is one of many advanced chemical and plastics companies that call Dalton and Whitfield County home. World famous for carpet manufacturing, the area is also becoming a magnet for companies that produce products used in oil wells, food packaging and more.

Like International Polymerics Inc. (IPI), all of them are thriving. IPI, which imports guar from India and Pakistan and turns it into products used by the carpet and oil well drilling industries, is adding a new production facility and creating 20 new jobs, bringing employment to 60. The oil industry is growing so fast that were using a lot of this material, says IPI founder and president Donald Bramblett. Guar powder manufactured in Dalton is injected into deep underground wells to keep oil and natural gas flowing smoothly to the surface. The oil and gas business is booming, and thats good for IPI. Weve been working 24/7 for two years, Bramblett says. IPI in Dalton also supplies guar used in carpet dyes. Divisions in Minnesota and Wyoming make guar used in food products and explosives. Most of IPIs customers are in Western states, but Bramblett plans to keep his headquarters in Dalton. With its interstate connections, available workforce, dependable electrical power, ample water supply and extensive waste treatment facilities, the city is an ideal location, he says.
lOCatIOn Of ChOICe Another growing enterprise, Puma Polymers, recently expanded to Dalton, which president Gerret Peters Jr. describes as our location of choice. Puma Polymers develops and manufactures

Daltons location, resources and workforce has helped international Polymerics inc. president Donald Bramlett grow his business.
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left: Part of a growing cluster of plastics and chemical companies in the region, international Polymerics inc. makes products for carpet and oil well drilling industries. above: iPi imports raw guar from the middle East and transforms it into powders and gels.

chemically advanced next-generation polyurethane products used in food packaging, precast concrete, commercial roller products and other industries. Dalton has exactly what the company needs, Peters says, including quick access to I-75, an available workforce with the right skills, proximity to potential customers, and an existing building and site large enough to handle the companys growth. By the end of 2011, Puma expects to double the volume of 2010. Puma Polymers will employ 25 people initially. MFG Chemical, a specialty chemical manufacturer, celebrated the opening of its new production facility in Dalton early in 2011. The facility also serves as the companys corporate headquarters and its technical and product development center. The expansion is creating 20 jobs. Expanding in Dalton, where the company already has a significant presence, will enable MFG to better meet the needs of existing customers and grow in the future, says president Chuck Gavin. It also strengthens our position as a

supplier to the specialty chemical markets, he says.


attRaCtInG fOReIGn InveStment The Greater Dalton region is also catching the eye of foreign investors; Belgium-based IVC U.S. relocated its North American headquarters to the city. The company distributes a wide range of cushioned back sheet vinyl products specifically designed for the U.S. market. IVCs new 520,000-squarefoot facility houses the worlds longest vinyl flooring production line. Other plastics and chemical companies growing in Dalton include: XL Brands is relocating its Northwest Georgia operations to the Carbondale Business Park. The company develops environmentally sound adhesives and moisture sealants for the floor covering industry. Standridge Color Corp. recently underwent a $2 million expansion. The company provides custom color concentrates, additives and resins to the thermoplastics industry.

What is guar?
Imported from the Middle East, guar is used in products produced for the carpet and oil well drilling industries. Guar powder manufactured in Dalton is used in carpet dyes, and it is also injected into deep underground wells to keep oil and natural gas flowing smoothly to the surface.

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Downtown Renaissance
new retail, restaurants and recreation revitalize downtown dalton
story by Betsy Williams Photography by Antony Boshier

new energy is sweeping through downtown Dalton construction of a retail-restaurant development is in the works; plans for a greenway are moving forward; and the downtown area is bustling with activities and events. The City Council recently voted to allow outdoor seating at downtown restaurants, and by the next weekend, all of the patio tables at Iron Gate Pizzeria were full, indicating Dalton is on the right track. On any given evening, you will see people enjoying outdoor dining and drinks with family and friends, says Brett Huske, executive director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Thats something relatively new, and we expect a lot more of it.
DaltOn IS ShOppInG, DInInG hub Downtown Dalton is one of Georgias largest downtown

districts, with approximately 3,000 employees and 300 businesses, ranging from specialty stores and shops to professional and financial firms. Dalton is the center of retail and entertainment for thousands in surrounding counties of North Georgia, and local leaders are focusing on boosting commercial and residential development even more to attract young professionals and executives, especially those moving to the region to work at Volkswagen and Wacker Chemie AG plants in Tennessees nearby Hamilton and Bradley counties. The University of Georgias Archway Partnership is working with Grow Greater Dalton to lead the revitalization effort. The Archway Partnership is helping us tackle some of our challenges within the community, including quality of life and the visibility of the downtown area, says Alex Stall, senior project

manager, Dalton-Whitfield County Joint Development Authority.


neW GReen SpaCe evOlvInG The proposed Crawford Street project is a good example, Stall says. The project will create a pedestrian-centric corridor leading into and out of downtown. In addition, federal and state grant money will fund the creation of a greenway biking and hiking trail linking downtown to the historical Crown Mill Village, where an arts and entertainment district featuring theaters, art galleries, museums, coffee shops, brew pubs and small-scale live entertainment is planned. To further enhance the citys green space, several miles of hiking and biking trails are being developed around Mount Rachel. The business community has much to gain from new residents with healthy disposable incomes. The Dalton-Whitfield County

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Joint Development Authority has been studying data to determine where retail needs are not being met and are targeting retailers in those areas. Kohls department store recently completed construction on a 55,482-squarefoot building that will anchor an ongoing retail-restaurant development. The NorthWest Georgia Trade & Convention Center also has economic potential, offering more than 140,000 square feet of meeting space. Tourism is a key component to a vibrant downtown, and visitors and residents share common desires quality shopping and dining options, cultural activities and places to interact and socialize with others. Weve planned a number of events and activities to create and generate visibility of downtown with the goal of increasing visitors initially, while also creating a community-wide interest in our downtown, Huske says. Sports activities have been successful in attracting crowds downtown, particularly the citys annual half marathon and 5K race, which draws more than 1,000 runners, and the Georgia Cup Cycling Series.
DOWntOWn RevIval In SuRROunDInG COmmunItIeS In northern Whitfield County, Varnell is working on revitalizing its downtown. The city recently unveiled a long-term plan that includes an expanded farmers market, a community center, an outdoor pavilion and more recreational spaces.

Clockwise from top left: Patio dining at the irongate Pizzeria in downtown Dalton; Exhibit space at the northWest Georgia trade & convention center; outlet stores at the market street shops of Dalton.

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P h o t o c o u R t E s y o F t h E D a lt o n - W h i t F i E l D c o u n t y J o i n t D E v E l o P m E n t a u t h o R i t y

homegrown Goodness
Farmers markets draw crowds downtown
Farmers markets are bringing crowds downtown in the Greater Dalton region, and making it easier than ever for residents to enjoy locally produced food and goods. located at Dalton Green Park in the heart of downtown Dalton, the north Georgia Farmers market is open each saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. may through september and hosts 10 to 25 vendors who sell organic produce, baked goods, furniture, and arts and crafts. all items have to be made or grown by the person who sells them, and they have to be from within a 50-mile radius of Dalton, says veronica French, director of the Downtown Dalton Development authority. nearby is the varnell Farmers market, which is open from 8 a.m. until noon on saturdays from may through september. located at the varnell Recreation center, the farmers market offers fresh, locally grown produce and other items, such as honey, jams and jellies. its pretty much a call for anyone who wants to sell their goods, and we give people a place to do so, says Jason hall, varnells city administrator. it also gives our community a place to buy local products at a lower price than what a typical grocery store would sell. Jessica Walker

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Energy/Technology

Rays of Opportunity
region embraces solar power, sustainability projects
story by M.V. Greene Photography by Antony Boshier

enewable energy projects are emerging as key elements in the business portfolios of companies in the Greater Dalton area. The advantages are economic as well as environmental, says Piet Dossche, president and CEO of Dalton-based USFloors Inc., a manufacturer of sustainable, ecofriendly flooring such as bamboo and cork. Solar has the potential to have a significant positive impact on Georgias economy, especially in terms of job growth.
haRneSSInG SOlaR pOWeR USFloors has several solar photovoltaic array projects in the works at its primary 100,000-square-feet manufacturing plant and corporate offices. Generating more than 350 kilowatts of power capacity at the plant, the projects supply half of the facilitys energy. At its two facilities in Dalton, the company generates more than 500 kilowatts of solar energy, making it Georgias largest private producer of solar energy. Our commitment to and belief in solar power required us to lead by example so that other businesses in the area could see its viability firsthand, Dossche says. USFloors is just one Greater Dalton area company leveraging

the promise of renewable energy. Vinyl flooring manufacturer IVC U.S. Inc. utilizes greenfriendly technology in its new 520,000-square-foot facility in Dalton, including a closed-loop water recycling system and solar panels with a nearby tracker that follows the suns rays across the horizon. Dalton Utilities is expanding its green energy footprint with a number of ambitious projects. As a multi-utility provider supplying residential, commercial and industrial customers with electricity, natural gas, water, wastewater collection and treatment services, and telecommunications, the company sees renewable energy as a focal point for the region.
meetInG SuStaInabIlIty neeDS We try to meet every need that the community has, especially the business community, says Don Cope, Dalton Utilities president and CEO. We know that many of our industrial customers will need carbon offsets, carbon credits and renewable energy credits to do business all over the country. The companys renewable energy presence covers a broad spectrum of projects, ranging from wastewater reuse to biodiesel

to solar, including a partnership with NASA to test non-carbonbased lubricants and fuel additives in its machinery as a means of reducing energy consumption and carbon usage, Cope says. In the area of solar power, Dalton Utilities installed a halfacre solar generating farm built by Alpharetta-based United Renewable Energy LLC. The Dalton Utilities facility has 1,560 solar panels and the capacity to power up to 400 homes. The project is the largest utility-owned facility of its kind generating power sold on the wholesale market.
ReDuCInG eneRGy COStS Shana Haygood, United Renewable Energy chief operating officer, says solar energy can be an important benefit to a state like Georgia where the weather can be hot and often stifling, especially during daylight hours. There are huge energy demands during the day, and the cost of generating power goes up, Haygood says. So when you install a solar array it only operates when the sun is up you have the ability to shave peak power costs. It benefits the utility, and it benefits the end users because it is a clean, renewable energy source.

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reNeWaBle recycliNg
stewardship of the regions natural resources is a key goal for the Dalton-Whitfield solid Waste authority. the utility goes a step beyond recovering materials and energy from solid waste and offers several green programs including: target recycling: Provides businesses with free on-site recycling for cardboard, mixed paper and plastic bottles and jugs through the materials Recovery Facility. landfill gas to Energy: collects, compresses, dehydrates and transports methane gas from the landfill to be used as a replacement for natural gas at local manufacturing facilities. Wetlands mitigation bank: allows the utility to sell stream and carbon credits to offset the impact of new construction on the local environment.

from top: usFloors makes eco-friendly flooring.; Dalton utilitiess solar farm is the largest utility-owned project of its kind, says cEo Don cope.
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high in fiber
broadband connectivity keeps growing in greater dalton
For businesses looking for fast broadband, the Greater Dalton region offers plenty of fiber-optic network connectivity. multi-utility provider Dalton utilities, which serves more than 65,000 customers, has been building out fiber-optic infrastructure in the Greater Dalton area the past few years through its optilink service that provides telephone, cable tv and fast internet. other local telecommunications providers include comcast and Windstream communications. commercial and industrial customers. its important because, as we go forward, the data requirements and the technological components of residents and businesses will only increase, cope says. our purpose is to underwrite and be a foundational piece of economic vitality for the region. M.V. Greene

neW fIbeR-OptIC DevelOpment


our telecommunications business is based on a 100 percent fiber-optic delivery system directly to the premises of industry, commercial and residential customers, says Don cope, Dalton utilities president and cEo. Windstream is using federal grant dollars from the american Recovery and Reinvestment act of 2009 to boost its broadband capacity in the area as well as nationally. the arkansas-based telecommunications provider broke ground in august 2011 on new broadband deployments in northwest Georgia, including the Dalton-Whitfield area. What the stimulus money is going to allow us to do is provide broadband service to more people, says Jim kortum, Windstream vice president of operations for north Georgia. We are also going to be able to increase the broadband capacity to existing customers. Both cope and kortum say broadband connections are vital in rural areas to assist in job creation, empower small business growth, improve health-care services to residents and serve the business needs of large

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Well-Connected
easy access to highways, rail, air and ports put the greater dalton region in a strategic location
story by John Fuller

reater Dalton has a wealth of transportation advantages that make it a business magnet. Located 25 miles south of Chattanooga and 65 miles north of Greater Atlanta, the region sets on Interstate 75, one of the busiest commercial highways in the country. More than 65,000 drivers travel I-75 through Whitfield County each day, and many businesses have located their operations off of one of the highways convenient exits. Less than a mile away from the interstate is the new Carbondale Business Park the only Class A industrial park between Chattanooga and Atlanta with interstate road frontage. Six state highways also crisscross

Whitfield County, with five I-75 interchanges and a four-lane divided bypass around the city.
eaSy aCCeSS tO aIRpORtS, SeapORtS The region is within a days drive of half of the U.S. population and within a 350-mile radius of 13 major U.S. markets, including 79 of the top Fortune 1,000 companies. It is also a short drive from one of the worlds busiest airports, HartsfieldJackson Atlanta Airport, and the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport, which is served by four airlines and offers major cargo service. For private pilots and corporate commuters in the area, Dalton Municipal Airport, an

FAA-approved facility with a lighted, 5,500-foot runway, offers general aviation service. Dalton is one of the only communities in Georgia served by two major rail mainlines, CSX and Norfolk Southern. With transfer yards for both rail lines in the community, goods made in Dalton can be shipped anywhere in the nation. The regions highway access also enhances the opportunity for international trade. Greater Dalton is less than 400 miles from major deepwater port facilities in Savannah and Charleston, both of which are gearing up to serve larger vessels that will be able to pass through expanded locks of the Panama Canal. Dalton is also

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Transportation

s ta F F P h o t o

less than an hour from river port facilities in Chattanooga. With our excellent highway and rail access, Dalton makes a great deal of sense for logistics and distribution companies wishing to use those port facilities, says Elyse Cochran, senior vice president of economic development for the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce.

mORe enhanCementS tO COme The Greater Dalton Metropolitan Planning Organizations transportation plan for the county calls for more than $400 million in state, federal and local spending on projects to enhance the areas transportation assets. The Dalton-Whitfield County region is slated for a number of interchange and highways improvements expected to boost

traffic and truck movement, Whitfield County engineer Kent Benson says. With one of the busiest traveled highway segments in the nation in I-75, the busiest airport in the world less than 100 miles away, one of the busiest ports on the eastern seaboard just five hours away and two major rail lines here, we really do have it all, Benson says.

DaltoN coNNects Nature trails to local attractioNs


the city of Dalton has a $10 million major greenway project under way, known as Daltons Green hat. city officials plan to build biking, hiking and running trails connecting neighborhoods and the downtown area to the citys major cultural attractions. the city received a $500,000 transportation enhancement grant from the Georgia Department of transportation and a $100,000 grant from the state Department of natural Resources to start the first phase of the project, which is expected to be completed by late 2012.
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Education

Raising the bar


building a skilled workforce is job number one in dalton-whitfield county
story by Betsy Williams Photography by Antony Boshier

alton-Whitfield County leaders are tackling the classic chicken-and-egg conundrum as it applies to their job market. Our industries are telling us they have vacancies that cant be filled, yet we have a high unemployment rate, says Barbara Ward, workforce development director for the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce. Were working with area industries, with our unemployed workers and with students in our schools to bridge that gap between the available jobs and the job seekers. With a labor force of 1.3 million

within a 60-mile radius, the Greater Dalton area offers plenty of manpower for relocating and expanding companies. Recent steps taken to ensure that labor pool is trained to the highest levels include: Attaining certification as a Work Ready community Expanding Georgia Northwestern Technical College to further develop a trained, skilled core for advanced manufacturing Adding additional degree programs at Dalton State College, including a bachelor of science in nursing

In January 2011, Whitfield County achieved state certification as a Work Ready community by working to boost high-school graduation rates and ensure that the majority of the workforce has the skills needed to meet local business demands. Whitfield County also offers specialized employee Quick Start training to businesses.
teCh COlleGe expanDS Georgia Northwestern Technical College opened a campus in August 2011 at the Whitfield Career Academy offering five new occupational

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programs, including an industrial systems technology class targeted to the carpet industry. More than 200 students signed up for the first semester. Students can earn an associate degree, a technical diploma or a technical certificate. Programs range from business management to computer information systems to industrial systems technology the latter of which particularly interests area industries hiring workers. This program teaches skills in electrical, robotics, mechanics, hydraulics and more, says Pete McDonald, vice president for economic development at GNTC. Graduates will be prepared for jobs in our region that offer starting salaries in the range of $50,000. Were offering people the opportunity to get trained in a reasonable amount of time to be competitive for these positions.
GettInG StuDentS exCIteD The intersection between available jobs and skilled workers is also impacted by the perception young workers have of manufacturing companies views local leaders are working to change. Some young people have a misconception of the work available, she says. Were letting them know that manufacturing companies have jobs for graphic designers, engineers, accountants, research technicians and even nurses. Programs in middle and high schools created by Workforce Development will target young people as they consider a course for the future. The high school program, Ward says, will offer an expanded job shadow experience that will take students into area companies to explore the opportunities and careers available and then follow-up in the classroom with lesson plans to provide additional information. DaltOn State tO launCh nuRSInG pROGRam Part of the University System of Georgias state college for

Northwest Georgia, Dalton State College offers 15 bachelors degrees and an array of associate degrees. The college was recently approved by the Board of Regents to offer a bachelor of science degree in nursing, a program it will launch this fall. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, Dalton States School of Business offers bachelors degrees in accounting, management, marketing, management information systems and more, providing talent for the industrial and business community. Dalton States partnership with Kennesaw State University makes an MBA program available on the Dalton campus. The commitment and energy to support industry and assist job seekers in Dalton keeps growing, Ward says. This community has a real desire to work together to create a better quality of life for our people, she says. Its an exciting time to be in Whitfield County.

PuBlic schools shiNe iN DaltoN-WhitfielD couNty


Parents looking to enroll children in school systems in the Dalton-Whitfield county region have plenty to be pleased about. schools in the region are known for several accomplishments including: Dalton high school has the only international Baccalaureate (iB) program in the area. coahulla creek, a new high school in the Whitfield county schools district, is designed for project-based learning, with instructional spaces in outdoor settings. the Whitfield career academy offers college preparatory and honorslevel coursework in blended classrooms integrating traditional and digital learning.

left: Dalton state college is constantly adding to its growing list of degree programs. above: classes at Whitfield career academy integrate traditional and digital learning.
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Education

Career Camp
manuFacturing, engineering and design program introduces students to industry
Recently, students in Greater Dalton got a fresh look at an industry that helped shape their community. the Design, Engineering and manufacturing camp, held in June 2011, introduced 28 middle school students to the diversity of careers available in the carpet industry. the DEm campers had an enlightening experience as to the choices and opportunities available to them in the floor-covering industry, says Barbara Ward, Workforce Development director and an organizer of the camp. the idea for the camp grew out of the work of the archway Partnership, a university of Georgia program designed to help the community improve opportunities for education, quality of life and the economy. students had the opportunity to hone their graphic design, engineering and fabrication skills as they designed their own carpet, operated the computer aided Drafting equipment and designed co2 model dragster cars. in tours of local industries, they learned about careers in the floor-covering industry and workplace skills, including teamwork, communication, and safety and work quality. the camp exceeded our expectations, Ward says. it planted the seed of the importance of learning the type of skills that will help these students find jobs as adults and the diversity of the type of jobs available right here in their hometown. in a county known for its cooperative partnerships between business and education, the camp is a shining example, Ward says. We saw a real collaboration between the companies, the school districts and the community to make this camp a success, she says. the camp was sponsored by shaw industries, mohawk, the Greater Dalton chamber of commerce and the Boys and Girls club. Betsy Williams

Daltons Design, Engineering and manufacturing camp exposes students to the diverse job opportunities in advanced manufacturing.
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P h o t o c o u R t E s y o F P h y l l i s s t E P h E n s W i t h t h E D a lt o n - W h i t F i E l D c h a m B E R o F c o m m E R c E

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hamiltoN health Doctor leaDs NatioNal society for Weight-loss surgery


hamilton health is staffed with physicians who are experts in their field, including Dr. Jaime Ponce, who was recently elected president of the american society for metabolic & Bariatric surgery (asmBs). Dr. Ponce serves as the medical director of the hamilton comprehensive Weight management center an asmBs Bariatric surgery center of Excellence. the first physician to establish a laparoscopic bariactric program and an outpatient gastric band program in northwest Georgia, Ponce has helped more than 3,000 patients manage obesity and related medical programs through minimally invasive weight-loss surgery.

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picture of health
hamilton medical recognized nationally for high level of care
story by Kevin Litwin Photography by Antony Boshier

Health

utting-edge health care is close to home for residents in DaltonWhitfield County through the Hamilton Health Care System. The systems 282-bed Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton is nationally recognized for its high level of primary and specialized care and patient safety, with HealthGrades naming it a 2011 Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence. That places Hamilton Medical among the top five percent of hospitals nationwide for clinical performance, plus it was also ranked among the top 10 percent in the nation for pulmonary care and gastrointestinal treatment. Additionally in 2011, the medical center was one of 62 hospitals in the state named to the Georgia Hospital Associations Partnership for Health and Accountability Quality Honor Roll. Also, the American Heart Association recognized Hamilton Health in 2011 as a gold-status Fit-Friendly Company for promoting physical activity and health among its own employees. With the nations rise in obesity and the escalating cost of health care, one of Hamilton Medical Centers priorities is the health and wellness of our employees, says Jason Hopkins, human resources director.
mInImal InvaSIOn The hospital also employs top-notch physicians like Jaime Ponce, medical director of the Hamilton Comprehensive Weight Management Center, who was elected in 2011 to head the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery. Recognized by ASMBS for his leadership and expertise in the field of weight-loss surgery, Ponce has helped more than 3,000 patients manage obesity and related

medical problems through minimally invasive weight-loss surgery. Our work will continue to improve care and provide high-quality education and support for bariatric patients, Ponce says.
lateSt SuRGICal teChnIqueS Hamilton Medical has also become known for its nationally recognized cancer and stroke centers as well as diabetes treatment program, and offers the latest technology that includes an innovative da Vinci robotic surgery program. The da Vinci procedure gives physicians greater precision and control to conduct minimally invasive surgical procedures, resulting in less pain and faster recovery for patients. The hospital is also the only medical center within 100 miles to offer 3-D imaging and whole-body PET and CT scans in less than 20 minutes through its gold-seal accredited Diagnostics Center. From cutting-edge, high-fieldstrength MRI units to our da Vinci surgical robot, Hamilton has continued to invest in the latest technology available, says Daryl Cole, marketing communications manager for Hamilton Health Care System. Hamilton is known for its advanced medical technology. mateRnIty anD emeRGenCy CaRe The medical center also has a 12-bed, Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that provides care for sick, premature or low-birth-weight babies, plus an Ambulatory Surgery Center recognized as a top-performing facility. Patient care is one of the things that makes Hamilton special, Cole says. The physicians, nurses and other staff members really care about people, and it shows. Quality patient care is the priority at Hamilton.

hamiltoN health-care systems NetWork


Parent corporation for 10 affiliate organizations Oversees the 282-bed Hamilton Medical Center The hospital offers major medical, surgical and diagnostic services that include accredited stroke and chest pain centers Included under Hamilton Health Care System umbrella are the Bradley Wellness Center, Hamilton Ambulatory Surgery Center, Hamilton Specialty Care, Hamilton Home Health and Hamilton Hospice

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move It, move It


local partnership promotes healthy communities in motion
couch potatoes are taboo in Whitfield and murray counties, thanks in part to a community in-motion exercise challenge. Dalton is headquarters for the not-for-profit northwest Georgia healthcare Partnership, a collaborative group of local health care providers, educators, business and industry executives, and government leaders who are promoting healthy living. the partnership sponsors wellness and prevention programs at home, schools and the workplace, and nGhPs flagship project is an annual community in-motion challenge. the challenge encourages business employees and residents in Whitfield and murray counties to take a stand against obesity by racking up miles from walking, running, bicycling or other exercise throughout an entire year. the initiative started as a two million mile challenge in 2009, but became so popular that 4 million miles were logged in the communities during 2010, and 6 million in 2011. you can walk, jog, run inside, outside or at the gym as well as do aerobics, weight train, bike/cycle, play sports, do yoga, dance, ski or snowboard, garden, hike or other outdoor activities any movement counts, says nancy kennedy, executive director of the northwest Georgia healthcare Partnership. there are four red running men signs around Dalton and one in murray county to remind folks how important physical activity should be in our lives. of peoples attention, kennedy says. that includes the six million mile challenge, plus we battle the child obesity issue that has become a national problem. We also oversee programs such as Promotoras de salud (health Promotors), a Diabetes ten city challenge and an annual Bill Gregory healthcare classic 5k and 2k race. Kevin Litwin

healthy OutlOOk SInCe 1992


the nGhP has actually been serving Whitfield and murray counties on a variety of health issues since 1992. healthy programs and lifestyles are what we are all about, to bring healthy initiatives to the forefront

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6039-TR12260M_TGB_Livability.indd 1

3/22/10 11:40:09 AM

Livability

outdoor lovers can find plenty of natural escapes in and near Dalton, including whitewater rafting, rock climbing and hiking.

taking It Outdoors
dalton puts recreation at the top of its agenda
story by Karen Schwartzman

he affinity for the outdoors that Greater Dalton residents share comes to the area naturally. Surrounded by a diverse landscape of mountains, curving roads, rolling hills and natural escapes, the city is a magnet for all kinds of outdoor lovers, from casual hikers to extreme bikers. Weve got mountains and cliffs all over the place, says Tim Larkin, a local business owner and outdoor enthusiast, so of course theres plenty of hiking and biking

trails, parks and playgrounds for the family. Larkin, who owns Precise Home Inspection and moved to Dalton nine years ago, says the citys proximity to nature is one of its top advantages. Dalton is just 25 miles south of Chattanooga, Tenn. close enough for locals to spend weekends rock climbing at Lookout Mountain or whitewater rafting down the Ocoee River. Larkin names the regions Blue and Red Park, Disney Trail and its

multiple recreation facilities among his favorite local outdoor haunts. Other popular hiking and biking trails include Snake Creek Gap Mountain Bike Trail, Varnell Springs and the Pinhoti Trail, which connects to the Appalachian Trail.
ROllInG Out a GReenWay Thanks to federal and state grants and an expansive greenway plan known as the Green Hat, the citys already impressive

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P h o t o c o u R t E s y o F R o l l i n G t h u n D E R R i v E R c o m Pa n y

above par
region oFFers championship-level golF courses
Golf enthusiasts have plenty to challenge them in DaltonWhitfield county. the area is home to a variety of well-kept courses sure to test even the most seasoned competitors. located in Rocky Face, the Farm Golf club offers 18 holes designed by tom Fazio of the american society of Golf course architects. the course, which opened in 1988, has been played by many of the games most popular professionals, including tiger Woods. We host a number of national, regional and state events, such as the united states senior mens amateur Golf championship, which was here in 2005, says Deck cheatham, the courses Director of Golf. We also host the carpet capital collegiate classic, so we get to see the future tour players before everyone else hears about them. in addition to an 18-hole golf course, the Farm offers amenities that include a driving range, putting green and chipping area, as well as practice bunkers. the Dalton Golf and country club, also popular in the area, provides players 18 holes on a Gary Player championship designed course. this private, member-owned club also offers a full-service clubhouse, tennis courts and a swimming pool. open to the public, nob north Golf course features an original Gary Player layout with 18 holes and many of the amenities found at private clubs. members and guests can enjoy practice areas, a stocked pro shop and a fullservice clubhouse. the region also features a ninehole course, tunnel hill Golf course, known as the Pasture. Jessica Walker
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a cyclist finishes the snake creek Gap mountain Bike time trial. known for its hills and trails, Dalton is a popular spot for cyclists.

recreation scene is about to get an extreme makeover. We thought the term green hat was appropriate because there is a river, a lake and a mountain just to the north of the city, Dalton City Manager Ty Ross explains. If you were drawing in the abstract, it looks like a green hat on top of the town. The Green Hat Project aims to construct biking and walking trails that connect neighborhoods and the downtown area to the citys cultural amenities and its numerous natural resources, like Mount Rachel. With the help of a few generous contributors, the plan is moving along. A $500,000 grant from the federal Transportation Enhancement Program is being used to create greenway trails from Daltons downtown business district to its newly designated arts and cultural district. Interns

from the University of Georgia School of Environment and Design are designing the trails. Another $100,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources will create five miles of trails at Mount Rachel. The city is also using a $21,000 community development block grant to build a new park with a multi-use trail on an abandoned railroad spur at Crown Mill. When you put in this type of infrastructure, development follows, Ross says. The project will start the creation of a more livable community. Another major goal of the plan is to attract a greater number of young professionals. Larkin, for one, is excited about the possibilities. The city is working in the right direction, he says. Its great to see things being done to improve the life and longevity of the city.

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eCOnOmIC pROfIle
buSIneSS ClImate In the GReateR DaltOn ReGIOn
the Greater Dalton Region is home to a labor force of 1.3 million within a 60-mile radius. top industries include advanced manufacturing, health, automotive production, plastics and chemicals.

other Government services: 1.3% construction: 1.3% management of companies, Enterprises: 1.2% Finance & insurance: 1.2% information: 1% mining: 0.1% agriculture & Forestry: 0.4%

pOpulatIOn (2010)
Dalton, Ga.: 33,128 Whitfield county: 102,599

Dalton Public schools, 800 J & J industries, 665 marketing alliance Group inc., 600 skiroki north america inc., 550

tRanSpORtatIOn
hIGhWayS
i-75, u.s. 41, u.s. 76

labOR
labor force draw area (60-mile radius): 1.3 million Population of labor force area: 989,567

majOR emplOyment SeCtORS


manufacturing (Floor covering, automotive, plastics, chemicals, ect.): 34.2% Retail trade: 12.4% health care & social assistance: 7.7% transportation & Warehousing: 7.4% Educational services: 5.5% Professional & technical services: 5.2% accommodations & Food services: 5.2% administration & Waste services: 4.2% Public administration: 3.2%

aIRpORtS
Dalton municipal airport 90 minutes from hartsfield-Jackson atlanta internzational airport 30 minutes from chattanooga metropolitan airport

peR CapItal hOuSehOlD InCOme (2010)


Dalton: $39,377

RaIl
csx, norfolk southern

meDIan hOme value (2009)


Whitfield county: $127,800

neaRby pORtS
Port of chattanooga center south River port Sources: http://www.dalton whitfieldeconomicdevelopment. com/, http://quickfacts.census.gov

tOp emplOyeRS
shaw industries inc.,7517 mohawk industries, 6015 Beaulieu Group, 2056 hamilton health care system, 1900 Whitfield county schools, 1500 tandus, 985

Whats Online
For more in-depth demographic, statistical and community information on dalton-whitfield, go to businessclimate.com/dalton and click on demographics under Facts & stats.

advertisers
Alliance National Bank www.alliancenationalbank.com Arrowstar www.star-na.com Charter Business www.charter-business.com Coldwell Banker Commercial Kinard Realty www.cbcnorthgeorgia.com Country Inn & Suites www.countryinns.com/daltonga Courtyard Marriott www.marriott.com/chadl Dalton Public Schools www.daltonpublicschools.com Dalton Utilities www.dutil.com Dalton-Whitfield Joint Development Authority www.locationdalton.com Dalton-Whitfield Regional Solid Waste Management Authority www.dwswa.org Georgia Power www.selectgeorgia.net h2b Creative www.h2bcreative.com Hamilton Health www.hamiltonhealth.org J&J Industries www.jjindustries.com Lyle Industries Inc. www.lyleind.com Minor, Bell & Neal www.mbnlaw.com Real Living Advantage www.realliving.com Shaw Industries Group Inc. www.shawfloors.com Windstream Communications www.windstream.com

visit our

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D a lt O n - W h I t f I e l D

Ad Index
C2 AlliAnCe nAtionAl BAnk 4 ArrowstAr C3 ChArter Business 10 Coldwell BAnker CommerCiAl kinArd reAlty 4 Country inn & suites 10 CourtyArd mArriott 28 dAlton PuBliC sChools 22 dAlton utilities C4 dAlton-whitfield Joint develoPment Authority 23 dAlton-whitfield regionAl solid wAste mAnAgement Authority 10 georgiA Power 10 h2B CreAtive 32 hAmilton heAlth C2 J&J industries 4 lyle industries inC. 2 minor, Bell & neAl 10 reAl living AdvAntAge C3 shAw industries grouP inC. 2 windstreAm CommuniCAtions