COVINGTON, Ga. -- Ground was broken Wednesday morning for a new biomed manufacturing facility near Covington.

The Baxter International facility is slated to employ about 1,500 people. Gov. Nathan Deal and company officials attended the groundbreaking ceremonies.

"Georgia supports Baxter's mission to save lives, and this occasion is one of many milestones we look forward to celebrating with the company as it establishes a presence in Georgia," said Deal. "Baxter's decision to build a facility here is a watershed event for the state, not only in our goal to establish Georgia as a hub for global health, but in our mission to provide high-quality jobs for our citizens."

The first manufacturing buildings at the site are slated to be completed by 2015, with more construction continuing into 2016. According to a statement from the governor's office, the plant is set to begin production in 2018.

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