Dothan officials to travel to China to recruit new businesses

(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - City, business, and educational leaders in Dothan will soon be headed to overseas with a goal of bringing more businesses to the Wiregrass.

Beijing and Hong Kong are just two of the seven cities that Mayor Mike Schmitz along with seven others will visit during their tour of China.

The trip comes six months after the U.S.-China manufacturing symposium wrapped up. Since the symposium, several Chinese companies have visited the area.

Mayor Schmitz says during the tour, the group will visit the factories and explore the workforce needs of six prospective businesses with the ultimate goal of bringing them to the Wiregrass to set up shop.

"This is going to be a long journey," Schmitz said. "Hopefully we are opening doors that our children and grandchildren will be able to benefit from, but we are getting close to narrowing down specific companies that are coming here. We just have to make sure we can provide the skilled labor force."

"It's like in sales, you have a funnel. You start qualifying prospects and then the one that falls through the funnel are the real ones," said Raymond Cheng, the CEO of Sozo. "So this trip we have qualified and screened and we are down to the defined few although we will start a new pipeline again."

The Sozo group, a economic development company who has its U.S headquarters in Dothan, will host this tour. The trip will be October 10 through the 22.

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