GE Security celebrated its presence in the Lincoln County Industrial Park with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday at the facility.
Representatives from the Lincoln Economic Development Association, Lincolnton City Council and The Keith Corporation, which developed the 106,000 square-foot building, were on hand to help the company celebrate.
LEDAâ€™s Jerry Cochrane welcomed those gathered to what he called â€œa great occasion.â€
â€œItâ€™s a great day for Lincoln County to have a company like GE Security come here during these troubled economic times,â€ Cochrane said.
Lincolnton City Council member Fred Houser and Alan Lewis of The Keith Corporation also spoke at the ceremony.
â€œGE is one of the finest tenants you could have and weâ€™re very proud to be associated with them,â€ Lewis said.
Phil Wekenmann, plant manager/site leader for the Lincolnton location, expressed his excitement at being a part of the community.
â€œWeâ€™re off to just a tremendous start,â€ he said.
The company moved from a facility in Hickory to the Lincoln County Industrial Park in Oct. 2007. With approximately 200 employees, GE Security helped the industrial park reach a milestone: more than 2,000 jobs.
One of the companyâ€™s employees, Teresa Sawyer, was given the honor of cutting the ribbon during the ceremony.
After the ceremony, during which Wekenmann was presented with a plaque from LEDA, those in attendance were invited to view two videos, one of which was a time-lapse video documenting the companyâ€™s move from Hickory to Lincolnton.
The other video showed a food fight employees had after they participated in a company-wide food drive they called â€œFood Fight.â€
â€œWe collected 5 tons of food in about a month,â€ Wekenmann said of the effort, which ended up bringing in the most food of any of GE Securityâ€™s North American plants.
â€œIt surpassed even the GE volunteersâ€™ wildest dreams,â€ said Kirsten Lundstrom, a member of the volunteer group.
Lundstrom says the Lincolnton plantâ€™s goal was 1,500 pounds of food; employees collected 10,447 pounds.
The company ended up dividing its donations between three organizations: the Womenâ€™s Resource Center in Hickory, Newtonâ€™s Corner Table Soup Kitchen and the Hesed House of Hope, Lincolntonâ€™s new homeless shelter.
Wekenmann says the project not only provided help to three different communities, it helped bolster team spirit at the new facility.
As thrilled as Wekenmann is to be a resident of the Lincoln County Industrial Park, heâ€™s not the only one pleased that GE Security has moved into the neighborhood.
Ray Eurey of American Tire Distributors, the first company to come to the park, says he used to be lonely.
Now, seven years later, loneliness is no longer an issue.
â€œIâ€™m not lonely now,â€ Eurey said. â€œItâ€™s actually really exciting with everything going on. Thereâ€™s never a dull moment.â€
by Allyson Levine