BONIFAY Â– Holmes CountyÂ’s newest industry held ribbon cutting ceremonies Friday, with state and local dignitaries heralding the manufacturer as an infusion of economic growth for the community.
Pennsylvania-based Probes Unlimited, Inc. (PUI) expanded to Bonifay in May and began production in July. The company manufactures custom temperature OEM sensing devices ranging from those used in grills and commercial kitchen equipment to those used in vaccine refrigeration systems.
PUI initially hired 18 employees. Today, there are 23 on staff with that number expected to grow to 40 by the end of October. The company estimates it will eventually employ at least 60 at the new site, which operates out of the old Bonifay Middle School fifth grade wing.
Florida Secretary of Commerce Jamal Sowell says new manufacturing jobs like the ones brought by PUI do wonders for local economies.
Â“When companies are looking where to relocate, we tell them about the Panhandle,Â” Sowell said. Â“We tell them about the military installations near where you already have the workforce, you already have the infrastructure and we want to build upon that here in the Northwest Florida region.Â”
PUI owner Ernie DeLany says the plant has already Â“exceeded expectations.Â”
Â“PUIÂ’s new Florida location is already a huge success and we have only been operating in this location since July,Â” said DeLany. Â“We have 23 full-time employees at this location and, while theyÂ’re all new to the company and some to the manufacturing process, the teams are exceeding production goals. We are delighted to be part of the Northwest Florida community. I look forward to future success in Bonifay and the state of Florida.Â”
Holmes County Development Commission Executive Director, Joe Rone says he anticipates more growth will be spurred by PUIÂ’s success.
Â“We know that manufacturing helps at more than just a single level so if we target that, we know that we can get other businesses that will help the manufacturer and vice versa,Â” said Rone.
Rone said he anticipates more manufacturing jobs coming to Holmes County soon, with the Bonifay Middle School gymnasium already under contract to another company.
The name of that company has not yet been released.
WMBB contributed to this report.