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Contender moving boatbuilding to Georgia

NOV. 25 — Florida-based Contender Boatsis moving most of its manufacturing and new product development operations to southeast Georgia.

Contender, which builds a line of outboard offshore fishing boats from 21 to 36 feet, is renovating an existing building on a 25-acre site in Baxley, Ga., officials announced Tuesday. The company plans to invest up to $12.8 million and create at least 424 permanent jobs over the next five years, ultimately expanding its work force to 500, according to state officials. An adjacent 15 acres will provide for future expansion and storage.

“Georgia has great proximity to our East and Gulf Coast markets, and is the right place to build our company’s future,” says Joe Neber, CEO and founder of Contender Boats, in a statement.

Company headquarters will remain in Homestead, Fla., state officials say, and the Georgia facility is expected to be up and running by January.

— JoAnn W. Goddard