EXCLUSIVE: First look at NCR plant - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

EXCLUSIVE: First look at NCR plant

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By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - For the first time since the company's announcement that it was moving to Columbus, NCR opened it's doors to the media Tuesday.

News Leader Nine was there as the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and officials with NCR held its press conference. The event acted as a scaled down version of the Governor's announcement in Atlanta two weeks ago.             

In Monday afternoon's press conference, Chamber of Commerce members took the opportunity to thank everyone in the area who contributed to the Fortune 500 company's move, and showed off the facility before it is re-modeled to fit NCR's needs.

Mike Gaymon, the President and CEO of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce told News Leader Nine, "It's exciting. Anytime you can talk about this many jobs and this much capital investment from a Fortune 500 company it means a lot for the whole region."

Chamber members knocked down a wall in the plant to kick off the official construction, which starts Tuesday.

The entire plant will essentially be gutted, in order to make room for the ATM manufacturing equipment.

NCR held its first Columbus job fair Saturday to fill 88 manufacturing positions. The Georgia Department of Labor says more than 1,650 job seekers turned out -- lining up as early as four a.m. It shows that many people are eager to get to work, but first this building needs to get up and running.

NCR's new plant manger gave News Leader Nine an exclusive tour of NCR's new home where he showed us walls to be knocked down, rooms to be restructured and areas to be eliminated.

NCR's Vice-President of Government Relations, Tim Heffernan said, "Getting 870 plus people hired and this building re-worked so we can produce ATM's is a big under-taking but we're looking forward to it."

That big under-taking kicks off now, as NCR and the Columbus Chamber of Commerce work together to get the old Mutec Battery plant up to NCR standards.

"The size of the building and the fact that it's split into two halves allows us to put our material hub on one side and manufacturing on the other which is how we normally set-up operations," said NCR's Vice-President of Global manufacturing, Rick Marquardt.

But Marquardt says not everything about the 340,000 square foot facility is staying the same, "Going from the roof all the way down to the flooring we want to refresh the entire building. It is a part of our North American manufacturing campus and we want it to be a showplace."

The plant should be operating towards the end of this year.

"I look forward to being here in October or December when the first ATM rolls off the line. That's the plan that everything is re-worked and fixed by then," said Heffernan.

Marquardt agreed, "We're excited to tear down walls tomorrow. It should be exciting."

Contractors for NCR plan to knock down the first walls Tuesday and within a 60 to 90 day period, the plant should be ready for workers to get started.

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