MOULTRIE -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded two Moultrie industries a sizable contract to help get people left homeless by this season's storms back on their feet.
The FEMA contract will bring Destiny Industries some $8 million for building 300 singlewide mobile homes and Triangle Furniture roughly $500,000 for building furnishings for those homes.
Destiny added about 45 positions to meet the federal contract. The plant, opened in 2003, now has about 170 employees, CEO Bill Edwards said. Employees have been working overtime to meet FEMA's timeline.
"One of the reasons we bid on the contract is that we're in the midst of raising production anyway. Our business has been blessed, so the people we're adding we will keep," Edwards said.
Destiny's focus is on modular housing, but the Moultrie factory has built some mobile units for HUD, he said. These units are double-floored and built to withstand 140 mph winds.
"They're really built rugged, because they travel so much. We've shipped some of them as far as Maryland already, even though there's a big need for them in Florida," he said.
The only negative is Destiny can't deliver to its regular customer base while it is building for the government, Edwards said. It's the same for his son Jonathan, who heads up Triangle Furniture. He's had to halt retail sales until the contract is met.
The furniture manufacturer added four employees to bring staff up to 11. Jonathan Edwards also expects to keep the added staff, especially with Triangle Furniture's new store opening in Albany at the end of the month, he said. The company's first store will be located next to Edwards Motors on Oglethorpe Boulevard. The Moultrie plant has six showrooms.
This is Triangle Furniture's fourth FEMA contract in two years. Most recently, the company bid furnishings for 1,000 homes Fleetwood was building for FEMA in June. That FEMA contract brought the Moultrie business $1.5 million, Jonathan Edwards said.
The package bid was beneficial to both father and son.
"It makes it easier to get the houses built and furnished at the same time. With Fleetwood, we had to send truckloads at a time to all the Fleetwood plants, and then they ship them to the FEMA sites. I'm just here right out the back door," Jonathan Edwards said.
People who lose homes when disaster strikes are allowed to live in FEMA units for 18 months, Bill Edwards said. These 300 units will go to residents in Florida, Virginia and Maryland.
"The good far outweighed the bad. Plus, it's morally (right). We feel good about building these," he said.