Gov. Roy Barnes, attending the center's formal opening, calledthe East Central Georgia region the state's new wholesaledistribution crossroads.

A total 100 national distribution centers have been built herein the last 18 months, employing 200,000 workers with an annualpayroll of $10 million, according to the Georgia Department ofIndustry, Trade and Tourism.

Laurens County, where Best Buy's plant is located, has apermanent population of 43,927, according to the U.S. Census. Thenew hub, off GA 257, will serve 60 Best Buy stores in Georgia,Florida, North Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.

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