Last Thursday (March 1), the Four Star Freightliner Company celebrated its ribbon cutting and road dedication at its new facility in Midway, right off the Midway exit of Interstate-10.
Four Star Freightliner is a heavy- and medium-duty truck dealership, which is expected to employ 32 people and generate in excess of $5.4 million annually for Gadsden County.
Jerry Kocan, Four Star Freightliner’s principal and CEO, is grateful for the leadership in Midway and Gadsden County for helping to make this project a reality.
“There were several people and entities that played essential roles in Four Star opening a permanent home here in Gadsden County,” Kocan said. “I want to especially thank Gadsden County Chairperson Brenda Holt for her leadership and Gadsden County Development Council’s Executive Director Beth Kirkland for working for more than two years on this project.”
“However, none of this would have happened without the support of the people of Gadsden County,” Kocan continued.
Kocan went on to say that in addition to opening the new dealership in Midway, the company is excited to be creating a new diesel technician program as part of a partnership with Gadsden Technical Institute in Quincy.
“The average diesel technician with five or more years experience has the potential to make $80,000 a year,” Kocan said. “So it’s exciting for Four Star Freightliner to be part of helping to grow and develop jobs in this great county.”
Antonio Jefferson, chair of the Gadsden County Development Council, congratulated Four Star Freightliner on a beautiful facility and thanked them for their commitment to jobs and job training in the community.
“Economic development is a marathon and not a sprint,” Jefferson said. “It is about taking a long-term approach to make your community attractive to investment.”
“It can take significant time from the first encounter with a company until a celebration such as today occurs,” Jefferson continued. “This project was over two-and-a-half years in the making.”
Holt recalled the beginning of this project.
“Two-and-a-half years ago, the Gadsden County Development Council and the Board of County Commissioners had the privilege of meeting Jerry Kocan and his team from Four Star Freightliner for a discussion about building a permanent home in Florida,” Holt said. “After a detailed search for the right location, Four Star Freightliner settled on where we are today.”
“The Department of Economic Opportunity’s partnership with Gadsden County made a desirable location work,” Holt continued.
Land owner Devoe Moore had donated the right-of-way for the road leading to the company to the county so that the county could utilize the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity Rural Infrastructure Fund program to get Four Star Way built.
Four Star Way connects to Brickyard Road, just west of Highway 90 near the Midway I-10 exit.
The Department of Economic Opportunity grant for the road and utility infrastructure was $465,205.
The road and the related utility infrastructure will make an additional 40 acres available for development.
Cissy Proctor, executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, said that Four Star Freightliner’s new facility is another sign that Florida’s business-friendly policies are having significant positive impacts on the state’s rural local economies. “We are proud to partner with Gadsden County to provide opportunities that enhance economic development and provide Floridians a chance to live their American dream,” Proctor said.
Wanda Range, mayor of the City of Midway, welcomed Four Star Freightliner to Midway with great enthusiasm.
“Midway is one of six municipalities in Gadsden County,” Range said. “Each of us are committed to bringing in good jobs and job training. Four Star is an exemplary partner on both fronts.”
“It is our sincere hope that Four Star’s new and expanded presence will benefit the company and the citizens of Midway and Gadsden County for many years to come,” Range continued.
By Randall Lieberman