Done deal – City inks deal with tech company; 300 jobs planned

Published 6:10 pm Monday, July 24, 2017

$6.5M construction project to sit on former golf course property

The City of Brewton Monday finalized a $6.5 million tech deal that will bring, at its peak, 300 new jobs.

In June, city officials announced it was partnering with Optomi, LLC, a tech-staffing firm with eight locations around the nation, including Atlanta, Dallas, Baltimore, Denver and Charlotte, N.C.

Monday, the particulars of that partnership were officially announced by city and state economic development and corporate officials.

The 15-year lease agreement outlined terms for the construction of three buildings on 10 acres of the former Dogwood Hills Golf Course property. The site will serve as Optomi’s “flagship U.S. facility,” said Provalus/Optomi President Church Ruggiero.

Company, city, state and economic development officials ‘ink’ the deal between Optomi and the City of Brewton.

Brewton beat out other locations in the Carolinas, Tennessee, Georgia and other sites in Alabama, officials said.
“What sold us on Brewton was its people,” Ruggiero said. “This is a growing, diverse community, and we’re interested in being part of that community and good stewards of Brewton.”

Funding for the project comes from city and state sources, including a $1.5 million appropriation from Gov. Kay Ivey’s discretionary fund.

“(Ivey) made it clear from the start that she was behind new technology coming to Alabama,” Mayor Yank Lovelace said. “Just as we were (at the beginning of the project) to ensuring that those jobs come to Brewton. This project was a culmination of the work of so many, and we couldn’t be prouder to welcome the company to Brewton.”

For months, advertisements were published stating the company’s need for software engineers. Optomi’s first training class of 12 began Monday. Now, the search is on for staff for the next class in August or September, Ruggiero said.

The company is currently being housed in the former Cracked Pot on Belleville Avenue. Those interested in applying are encouraged to visit.

Once staffing levels reach 50, construction will begin on the first of three buildings, which at completion will boast a combined 65,000 square feet of space.

“And we’re expecting that to be mid-year 2018,” Ruggiero said.

Construction will take approximately one year. Once staffing levels reach 150, construction will begin on building No. 2 and at 200, on building No. 3.

The company will offer third party IT solutions and help desk for Fortune 2000 companies such as Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Apple, ExxonMobil and Toyota.

For more of this story, see the Wed., July 26, edition of The Brewton Standard.