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August 16, 2007 Issue

Qualifying opens in August
Agreement helps Wadley industry double work force

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Qualifying opens in August

• There will be seats available in six city elections this fall

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

As the summer comes to a close, many area municipalities are gearing up for this November’s local, state and national elections.

Cities adding a local race on the ballot include Wadley, Avera, Stapleton, Gibson and Mitchell.


The city of Edgehill will hold a special election in September.

Edgehill's Sept. 18 special election will fill the unexpired term of council member Roy Black on the city council.

Qualifying of the special election will be held at the Glascock County Probate Judge’s Office in Gibson from Aug. 20-22 beginning at 8: 30 a.m. that Monday and ending at noon on Wednesday. The qualifying fee is $5.

Anyone who wishes to vote in this election must register to vote by the close of business on Aug. 20. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 18.

The cities holding an election in November will hold their qualifying in August also. The city of Mitchell and Gibson will hold qualifying from Aug. 27 to Aug. 29 beginning at 9 a.m. that Monday and ending at 4 p.m. that Wednesday.

The city of Mitchell will hold qualifying for three council members whose terms expire on Dec. 31.

The council members whose seats are up for grabs are Amy Borton for Post 3, Hubert Pulliam for Post 4 and William H. Wilcher for Post 5.

The qualifying fee is $35.

The city of Gibson will hold qualifying for two city council positions and mayor. The current elected officials are Mayor Gregg Kelley and two Council Members Warren Pittman and Paul Hinton.

The city of Stapleton will hold qualifying Monday, Aug. 27, until Thursday, Aug. 30, from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. with the exception of lunch from 12:30 p.m. until 1:30 p.m.

Seats that are Mayor Harold Smith’s, Council Members Jason Irby’s and Kayleigh Sheppard’s seats will be on the ballot this November. The qualifying fee for mayor is $50 and city council is $25.

The city of Avera, along with the city of Wadley, will hold qualifying Monday, Aug. 27, through Friday, Aug. 31, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Avera will hold an election this year for three council seats, which are currently held by Charles Padgett and Leisa Hadden and Warren Mathis, who resigned from his position. The qualifying fee for all seats is $3.

Wadley’s election will fill positions held by Albert Samples and Edith Pundt. The qualifying fee is $9.

Anyone who plans to vote in the election that will be held Nov. 6 should register by the closing of business Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Agreement helps Wadley industry double work force

• Rachels Machine partners with state and Sandersville Tech to train new and existing employees

By Parish Howard

Representatives from the Quick Start program and Sandersville Technical College joined Rachels Machine and Fabrication, Inc. in Wadley Thursday Aug. 9 in signing a training agreement that will assist the local company in training its soon double its workforce.

Rachels Machine will be expanding its company and adding a minimum of 15 welding and metal working positions in the coming months.


Under the agreement, Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education’s economic development based Quick Start program will provide customized workforce training at no cost to the expanding business.

“We’ve already begun the needs analysis portion, studying their business and started determining what sorts of training these new positions will require,” said Jan Melcher, regional director of the Quick Start’s eastern operations.

Quick Start’s role in the agreement includes designing and developing training material and providing instructors for Rachels’ new and existing employees in job specifi skills like mig welding, use of cranes and rigging, core training like proper lifting, gas bottle safety, hazard communication as well as some advanced manufacturing technology.

“We want this expansion to be seamless to the customer, so that they never know you have new people here,” said Eddie Fite, a training manager with Quick Start.

Vic Rachels, president of Rachels Machine, said the expansion comes in an effort to better handle a new customer the company picked up this past September.

“We are building the major components of water treatment facilities,” Rachels said.

“With this expansion we will be able to handle the entire continental United States.

Right now we handle from Ohio east. Our only restraint right now is space.”

The new addition will be 64 feet by 150 feet with two 10-ton bridge cranes, 10 more welders, an iron worker and plenty of access for truck loading.

The pad for the expansion is in place and Rachels expects the construction crews to start hanging the walls later this month.

The new equipment could possibly be installed as early as September.

In a time when the United States is losing so many manufacturing jobs to overseas competitors, Rachels Machine is expanding and according to one of its vice presidents, taking jobs away from the overseas competition.

“Quality has started to become an issue,” Vic Rachels said. “If it is light and easy work, it’s gone to Mexico or China.

It isn’t coming back. But if it’s a job that requires quality work in a timely fashion, well…you can’t get the quality from Mexico and it takes time to get items shipped back to the states from China.”

By helping businesses like Rachels with their expansion, the Quick Start program is fulfilling one of its major goals of assisting to retain businesses in Georgia.

Once Quick Start sets up the training, creates the training model tailored to the business and provides the initial instruction, then Sandersville Tech, the third partner, goes on to provide any on-going training the company requires.

“We are excited to be a part of this expansion and look forward to any expansions that will come along in the future,” said Lloyd Horadan, president of STC. “Rachels Fabrication has been an important part of Jefferson County for many years.

We look forward to working with both Quick Start and the staff of Rachels Fabrication in helping this expansion become fully operational with the best trained fabrication employees in Georgia.”

Rachels Machine and Fabrication, Inc. was founded in 1971 and serves a wide customer base in their five primary markets.

Their services and products include precision machining, flame cut steel sprockets, conveyors, collectors and custom metal fabrication.

Rachels said that his company is currently one of six in the Wadley area which is involved in international business.

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Last modified: August 15, 2007