If you've ever noticed the ingredients in anything from chewing gum to glue, there's a good chance many of those ingredients were made by a company with local ties.
Arizona Chemical has had a longtime production plant here in Panama City and Port St. Joe, but did you know the corporation also has a major distribution center here in the panhandle?
They don't actually make the products we use every day, but Arizona Chemical does make a lot of the ingredients that will now reach their clients from the company's distribution point in Marianna.
John Carpenter of Arizona Chemical said, "Marianna was well situated for us logistically. It's close to I-10, so the trucks can easily get to the distribution of the interstate."
Arizona Chemical started shipping, storing and tracking their product from the warehouse in the Marianna Jackson Distribution Park in January.
Tuesday, company officials took state and local dignitaries on a tour of the center as part of the grand opening. The 115,000 square foot facility currently employs 28 people at an average salary of nearly $39,000.
Louy Harris, Marianna City Manager, said, "We were fortunate enough to get Family Dollar about a year and a half ago, and secondly we attracted Arizona Chemical to build a facility out there right behind Family Dollar as well."
The county put up an $11 million capital investment to bring Arizona Chemical to the park. This distribution point will serve Arizona plants in the southeast.
From here these products can be sent to over 600 countries around the world.
Bill Stanten of the Jackson County Development Council said, "It serves a four state area in terms of their plants and this is a central distribution point. It replaces distribution points including Panama City and Port St. Joe."
Arizona Chemical may be the second major tenant for the year and a half old industrial park, but economic leaders are hoping it won't be the last. In fact, three more deals are in the works.
Jackson County competed with communities in Alabama and Georgia to land Arizona Chemical's distribution operations.