Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer planned on building a $40 million food distribution center in the Southern U. S. Wal-Mart worked with JAXUSA to secure land in Baker County for the project. The 880,000-square-foot facility opened in 2002.

The food distribution facility planned on supplying all the Super Wal-Marts in the region including stores in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

About 6,000 people applied for jobs at the distribution center, which offered a starting hourly wage 34 percent higher than the county average of $8.41, at $11.25. The center hired over 550 employees within the first year with hopes of more hires in the future.

Baker County expected $152 million return on their investment within five years. The $152 million included everything from employee wages to how much Wal-Mart will spend on supplies and subcontractors. The Wal-Mart deal was the first JAXUSA (formerly Cornerstone) project for Baker County, which won out over a Georgia site.

9/1/12