PROFILE: Opening Move
Check-Mate Industries, Thomasville join for success
Check-Mate CEO and owner Regina Vieweg cuts the ribbon marking the official opening of the new headquarters in Thomasville; samples of machined items made for the U.S. military; a centerpiece at Check-Mate’s grand opening; and the entrance to the manufacturing area showcasing the company’s motto.
Check-Mate Industries Inc. celebrated its grand opening in Thomasville in August, and company officials say they are ready to build an empire in Georgia.
New York-based Check-Mate, which makes firearm magazines, medical tooling, aerospace and automotive products, expects to add 230 jobs and invest $16 million in its new location.
“This is a tremendous milestone for Check-Mate and the city of Thomasville,” said Joe DeBello, president and chief operating officer of the company, at the grand opening celebration. “Thomasville is a community that values business and hard work. It’s a great day for us all and a great leap into the future.”
“Forty-seven years ago, founder Tom Vieweg borrowed $250 and started Check-Mate Industries,” said Jackie Santoro, the company’s director of legal affairs and business development, and Vieweg’s daughter.
“We’re a story of growth,” she told the crowd of well-wishers. In 2012 the company expanded in New York and then began looking to other locations to grow.
The celebration drew Gov. Brian Kemp, who noted how hard he has worked for opportunities for rural Georgians.
“Georgia’s manufacturing industry is built to compete with anyone in the world,” he said. “This investment will create greater opportunities for residents down here.”
But opportunities like Check-Mate’s expansion could not happen without a skilled workforce and the world-renowned workforce training program like Georgia Quick Start, Kemp said. “Check-Mate will take advantage of our No. 1 workforce program, Quick Start. Quick Start sets our state apart and is an asset in our economic development toolbox.”
Both DeBello and Santoro said Quick Start’s training programs, which began in July on site at the plant, were a huge part of their decision to select Georgia and Thomasville for the company’s expansion.
Quick Start, which is part of the Technical College System of Georgia, is providing hands-on assembly training that replicates the actual assembly of the gun magazine using all appropriate company tooling in partnership with the company and Southern Regional Technical College.
“The resources and training [Quick Start] brought to the table reduced the fear and doubt in staffing, which was a big concern,” Santoro added. “We are a family and a team and honored to start a new chapter in Georgia.”