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April 26--  A subsidiary of Stanley Farms in Toombs County is growing and using the state's Quick Start program to make it more productive.

{mosimage}(L-R) Seated Quick Start Exec Marla Lowe, Vidalia Valley's Vince Stanley and STC President Dr. Cathy Mitchell, standing David Yarbrough, State Representative Greg Morris, R.T. Stanley, Jr., Tracy Stanley, Brian Stanley, John Brewton, Heather Davis and State Senator Tommie Williams.

Vidalia Valley signed an agreement this week to train employees according to company President Vince Stanley.

"We're here today to celebrate our partnership with Quick Start which is going to help us with consultatioin and advice and help us be more efficient with our onions," he said.

Vidalia Valley produces some 50 products and processes relishes, salad dressings, salsas and sauces.  Stanley says things have changed in the Vidalia Sweet Onion industry.

"It used to be as easy as jumping on a tractor.  Things have changed and the economies have changed.  You have to be much smarter now and track your costs.  You're really only as good as your weakest link.  We have a lot of hands-on work going on and if those guys don't know what they're doing, it's really going to cost you," he notes.

Marla Lowe with Quick Start says it's mission is to help Vidalia Valley's workers manage change.

"We will design, develop and deliver customized job training and our program will finish here once we have trained all the current employees in implementing all the current technology they have here," she said.

Once the initial Quick Start training is completed, Southeastern Tech in Vidalia will provide ongoing training for Vidalia Valley workers.

The signing ceremony took place at the Stanley Farms shipping warehouse between Lyons and Vidalia with load after load of Vidalia Onions being shipped.  Vince Stanely says the onions this year are smaller but very sweet.

"Well we've got a very sweet onion, that's the main thing.  We do have some problems with a disease which is limiting the size of the onions, but we have plenty to go around," he said.