ECG: Press Releases

Press Releases

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Rinnai to create 300 jobs in Griffin, GA

August 4, 2018 - Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that Rinnai, a home appliances manufacturer, will create 150 jobs and invest $69 million with the completion of the company’s first U.S. manufacturing facility in Griffin. Rinnai expects to create a total of 300 jobs with this new facility over the next 10 years.
“Georgia’s economic prosperity is a result of strong partnerships and collaboration with industry leaders from around the world,” said Deal. “This announcement follows a successful trade mission to Japan, where we met with Rinnai executives to discuss the strategic resources and top business environment Georgia has to offer. Georgia is the gateway to the Southeastern market and beyond, and I am confident our skilled workforce and extensive manufacturing capabilities will support Rinnai in future growth. We look forward to strengthening this partnership with Rinnai as the company continues to invest in our state.”

Lidl to create 250 jobs in Bartow County

June 26, 2017 - Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that Lidl, one of the world’s largest retailers, will create 250 jobs and invest $100 million over the next five years in a new regional headquarters and distribution center in Cartersville.

“Lidl’s commitment to locate in Georgia speaks to our business-friendly climate and robust workforce,” said Deal. “Georgia is a gateway to the Southeastern market and beyond, providing innovative retail leaders such as Lidl the logistics infrastructure needed to support a growing customer base. We value Lidl’s investment and share in the company’s vision for future growth.”

Read Gov. Deal's announcement here.

Elixir Extrusions expanding in Douglas, GA

May 5, 2017 - Elixir Extrusions LLC is expanding its operations in Douglas-Coffee County, GA.  The expansion brings 100 new jobs and $8 million in investment to the area.  The manufacturer of  custom aluminum extrusions and fabricated parts will build a new 70,000 square-foot facility to accommodate the integration of automated anodizing equipment.  The new production line will create one of the largest of its kind in the U.S.

Read more about Elixir Extrusions here.

Farmax Merchandise coming to Cordele-Crisp County, Georgia

March 20, 2017 - ECG’s Office of Economic & Community Development is thrilled to announce Farmax Merchandise will bring more than 20 new jobs and invest $5 million in Cordele-Crisp County. Farmax, a China-based peanut production and exporting enterprise, is opening a new peanut oil processing facility. The company serves customers in the U.S., EU, Canada, Southeast Asia, Russia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.

“Cordele and Crisp County are excited to welcome Farmax as the community’s first China-based manufacturer,” said Zack Wade, chairman of the Crisp County-Cordele Industrial Development Authority. “The company will be a great fit for our community because it will consume large amounts of peanuts—one of our most abundant local cash crops.”

In August 2016, Governor Deal announced the Cordele Intermodal Services, the state’s first inland terminal, will partner with KIA Motors to handle container shipping.  The Inland Port will now provide logistical benefits with importing and exporting goods for Farmax’s international customers.

“Our community is thankful to officials at Farmax for recognizing the benefits of locating here. Not only was the abundance of peanuts an asset, but Cordele’s Inland Port was a critical and positive factor in favor of Crisp County,” said Grant Buckley, executive director of the Cordele-Crisp County Industrial Development Council.

“This is a fantastic demonstration of a community using its local advantages to attract a quality business,” explained Lonnie Smallwood, Sr. Business Development Associate with ECG. 

Read Governor Nathan Deal's Announcement here.

Aviagen to Invest $18 million in Brooks County, Georgia

March 9, 2017 - ECG's Office of Economic & Community Development is proud to announce Aviagen Broiler Breeders' location in Quitman-Brooks County creating 100 jobs and investing $18 million. Aviagen supplies day-old grandparent and parent stock chicks to customers in 130 countries worldwide under the Arbor Acres®, Indian River®, and Ross® brand names. These brands are among the most recognized and respected names in the poultry industry and each has a proven record of success in addition to a large and loyal global customer base.

Governor Nathan Deal said, "The poultry industry has been one of Georgia's top economic drivers for decades and Aviagen's decision to expand here is a testament to our competitive economic environment today. With this new hatchery in Brooks County, Aviagen will reap the benefits of Georgia's strategic location as the key gateway to the Southeastern market and beyond. We appreciate Aviagen's confidence in Georgia's workforce and continued investment in our state."

Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Project Manager Michelle Shaw assisted the company on behalf of Georgia in partnership with Lonnie Smallwood, Senior Business Development Associate for Electric Cities of Georgia, and the Brooks County Development Authority.
"We cannot imagine a more suitable project as the first tenant in the Brooks County Industrial Park, one to combine our rich farming heritage with the future of science and food production. Brooks County, Georgia will continue to provide food to the world, as it has done for generations, now through groundbreaking advancements in technology. We could not be more excited to welcome this company to our community", said 
Buddy Holwell, Chairman of the Brooks County Development Authority.

Smallwood agreed, "The Aviagen announcement is a major economic development success story for Quitman and the Brooks County Development Authority.  It's truly a pleasure to see such local commitment result in job creation for the community."

Daryl Ingram, Senior Vice President of External Affairs added, "This announcement is a testament to the perseverance of vision and investment in growth made by the community leadership.  ECG shares Quitman's excitement for this announcement, and we look forward to future opportunities to serve."

Read Governor Nathan Deal's Announcement here.

ELK Group International to create more than 100 jobs in Sylvania, GA

February 13, 2017 - The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) today announced that ELK Group International (ELK), a premier designer and importer of indoor and outdoor, residential and commercial lighting fixtures and home decor, will create more than 100 jobs and invest $2 million in a distribution center in Screven County. 

“Georgia is a hub for thriving companies such as ELK Group International, and their decision to open a new facility in Sylvania is a great win for the region,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “With access to a skilled workforce and an efficient transportation infrastructure, ELK will find it easy to meet the growing demands of their customers, and expand their business in Sylvania.”

ELK will upgrade an existing 400,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Sylvania for their new operations. This facility will create new employment opportunities over the next three years to include positions in office and warehouse operations. The Sylvania distribution center will be ELK’s seventh U.S. location.  

“Expanding our distribution network to the Southeast allows us to support current and future growth while enhancing service levels for our customers,” said Todd Webb, COO of ELK Group International. “The management of the Screven County Development Authority and the City of Sylvania were instrumental in the decision process, and we look forward to being an active member of the local community.”

Read more

Thomaston Welcomes New Distribution Facility

December 16, 2016 - Solutions Pest & Lawn today announced that it purchased the 300,000 square foot Apollo Industries manufacturing facility located in Thomaston Georgia. This will be the 12th facility in the retailer's growing network of stores and warehouses and will be critical to supporting the rapid growth of Solutions’ direct to consumer pest control businesses.

“Kyle Fletcher with the Development Authority and Thomaston City Leadership were very
supportive throughout the acquisition process and we are excited to be bringing more
opportunity to the city of Thomaston.” said Richard Wilkinson, VP of Plant Operations at Solutions.

The Linde Group Coming to Adel, Georgia

January 3, 2017 - ECG's Office of Economic & Community Development is proud to announce The Linde Group's second manufacturing facility in an ECG Community.  Gov. Nathan Deal announced the Linde Group, a leading manufacturer and supplier of industrial gases, will create 35 jobs and invest $40 million in a custom-engineered air separation plant in Cook County. "Georgia's continued economic development, both on the state and local level, will continue to provide The Linde Group with the necessary resources to expand operations and undergo immense growth," said Deal.

Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Project Manager David Dunagan assisted the company on behalf of Georgia in partnership with Lonnie Smallwood, Senior Business Development Associate for Electric Cities of Georgia, and the Cook County Economic Development Commission.

Emphasizing the importance of local commitment to successful economic development, Lonnie Smallwood said,  "The Linde Group didn't choose Adel by accident.  This location is the result of a business-first community with a strategic vision for growth, executing a plan to maximize their workforce and logistics advantages to bring industrial jobs to Cook County."

Mayor Buddy Duke commented, "The City of Adel is excited to join ECG in announcing the location of Linde to our South Georgia community.  The expertise of ECG's staff allowed a consistent and detailed proposal that was instrumental to the successful location of this company.   The City of Adel's elected officials are involved with economic development on a personal level; therefore, it is our commitment to offer competitive power rates and personal service to our customers, whom we like to call partners.  Customer choice provides us with that opportunity.  It also allows us to showcase our city, our community, and most of all, our dedicated employees.  We are grateful to Linde for choosing Adel as the next site to call home!"

"Working with Linde's Energy and Engineering teams was a real pleasure," says Walter West, ECG's Senior Vice President of Analytical Services. "By choosing Adel as their electric service provider, Linde will benefit from the advantages of local service, an efficient energy portfolio, and will directly contribute to the growth of their home community."

Read the Governor's press release here.

Georgia tops the nation again

November 2, 2016 - Governor Nathan Deal announced that Georgia has been named the No. 1 state in the nation in which to do business for the fourth consecutive year by Site Selection magazine, a leading economic development trade publication.

Read the Governor's press release here.

Georgia is also Area Development's 2016 top state for doing business. Being named No. 1 for the third consecutive year is another indication of the state's business friendly climate.

Helena Industries expanding in Cordele, GA

October 25, 2016 - Helena Industries celebrated the ribbon-cutting and opening of its new 180,000 square foot warehouse facility in Cordele, Georgia.  This new facility is adjacent to its existing manufacturing and administrative buildings.  Helena will employ 10-12 new workers to operate the facility which will house inventory related to its manufacturing operations.  These new workers are in addition to Helena’s existing Cordele workforce of approximately 95 permanent full-time workers and 50-150 temporary seasonal workers. 

Helena Industries is a contract manufacturer of chemicals for the agricultural, industrial, and lawn and garden sectors.  It operates four manufacturing facilities across the U.S.

Read more about Helena Industries here.
Learn more about business development opportunities by visiting Cordele-Crisp IDC.

Sentury Tire to create more than 1,000 jobs in Troup County

September 8, 2016 - Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that Sentury Tire, the fifth-largest and fastest-growing tire manufacturer in China, will create more than 1,000 jobs and invest $530 million in a car and light truck tire manufacturing operation in Troup County.

“Sentury Tire’s commitment to locate in LaGrange speaks to Georgia’s business-friendly climate and the strong relationship we maintain with our economic partners in China” said Deal. “We value Sentury Tire’s investment in Georgia and the vision of the company’s leadership for continued growth in Troup County. I am positive that Georgia’s automotive manufacturing and technology capabilities will be assets to Sentury Tire as the company serves a growing customer base.”

The new manufacturing facility will create jobs in production, national sales and marketing, warehousing and distribution. As a further investment in the facility, Sentury is planning to incorporate a research and development center that will employ approximately 100 highly qualified technical personnel.

“We are very happy to select LaGrange to the location of our North American manufacturing,” said Sentury Tire Executive Vice President Rami Helminen. “The education systems and high quality workforce complement our leading edge technology in the production and research and development. We are confident that Georgia has the infrastructure that can help us build a successful logistical operation to supply our growing aftermarket dealer sales and OEM sales to auto manufacturers in the North American market. We anticipate production to start in 2018 and will build up to our projected manufacturing capacity of 12 million passenger and light truck tires.”

Read the Governor's press release here.

Variety Wholesalers, Inc. to create 320 Jobs in Newnan, GA.

August 29, 2016 - Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that Variety Wholesalers, Inc., a retail store chain, will establish its second major distribution center in Coweta County, creating 320 jobs and investing approximately $10.5 million in the Newnan area.

“Georgia’s business climate and transportation infrastructure continue to attract major businesses such as Variety Wholesalers to the state,” said Deal. “Variety Wholesalers’ decision to expand to Coweta County speaks to Georgia’s growing commercial infrastructure, demonstrates the significant investment opportunities offered by our ports and will further establish our state as an industrial magnet.”

Read the Governor's press release here.

Amazon comes to Jackson County

June 22, 2016 - Governor Nathan Deal today announced that Amazon will create more than 500 full-time jobs in the Braselton area.  The 600,000 square-foot Amazon fulfillment center in Jackson County will be used for packing and shipping large items such as household decor, sporting equipment and gardening tools.

“Amazon’s decision to develop in Jackson County speaks to the strength and vitality of Georgia’s business-friendly environment,” said Deal. “We are thrilled that a global leader such as Amazon has chosen to expand its footprint here in Georgia. This project further bolsters Georgia’s reputation as the nation’s No. 1 state in which to do business.”

Read the Governor's press release here.

Dollar General to Invest $85 million in Butts and Spalding Counties

May 9, 2016 - Governor Nathan Deal today announced that Dollar General, one of America's leading discount retailers, will build a 1-million-square-foot distribution center in Butts and Spalding Counties.  The distribution center will create more than 500 jobs and represents a capital investment of $85 million.

“Dollar General’s decision to build a fulfillment center here in Georgia is a direct reflection of the high quality of our workforce and Georgia’s strategic location for accessing the Southeastern market,” said Deal. “Georgia is perfectly positioned to support this fulfillment center and Dollar General will benefit by building in the No.1 state in which to do business. I am confident that our economic environment and location will bolster growth
for Dollar General in Georgia.”

Read the full Georgia press release here.

Mohawk Industries Expanding in Dalton-Whitfield County

April 21, 2016 - Governor Nathan Deal today announced that Mohawk Industries, the world's largest flooring manufacturer, will expand its existing vinyl flooring operations in Dalton-Whitfield County. The $100 million capital investment in infrastructure and equipment will generate approximately 200 jobs for the region.

Mohawk acquired the IVC Group in 2015, positioning the company at the forefront of the global vinyl flooring market.  The acquisition added state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities in both Europe and North America, including the world's largest, most efficient luxury vinyl tile (LVT) production lines in Dalton-Whitfield County.

Read the full Georgia press release here.

Legacy Housing, LTD expanding in Putnam County

April 29, 2016 - Putnam County’s newest industrial resident is in a familiar business.  Legacy Housing, LTD, a builder and distributor of manufactured homes, worked with ECG’s Senior Business Development Associate Lonnie Smallwood and Wylly Harrison of the Georgia Department of Economic Development to bring operations to Eatonton, GA. “I’m really proud of this project.  The loss of Horton Homes was a setback for Putnam County, but also created a great opportunity.  The closing freed a large pool of skill-specific labor, and left a ready-made facility in waiting – we just needed to find the right fit.  Legacy Housing acquired the property and, thanks in great part to the trained workforce, began a very aggressive plan to ready the first production line for a February launch.  Their plans also include an expansion into the Tiny House market in 2017 – necessitating the hire of an additional 150 – 200 employees.”

Read full press release here.

Great Things Happening in Albany, Georgia

March 3, 2016 - Working together, the City of Albany and Dougherty County in southwest Georgia are bringing new life and opportunities to their downtown. Thanks to a private-public partnership dedicated to redeveloping downtown by playing up the area's premier natural resource-the Flint River, the Albany Downtown Riverfront Master Plan was designed to pack the center of the community with diverse activities and destinations that benefit residents and visitors alike.

Learn more about Albany or take a look at their community video here.

Valmiera Glass to create an additional 425 jobs in Dublin, GA

January 25, 2016 - Governor Nathan Deal announced today that Valmiera Glass Group, a Latvian-based fiberglass manufacturer, will expand their U.S.-based headquarters operation in Dublin.  This project will create 425 jobs and generate an overall investment of $90 million through 2022.

The new jobs will involve advanced operations and will require highly-skilled technical candidates.  To ensure their workforce needs are met, the Oconee Fall Line Technical College will collaborate with Valmiera Glass Group to house a training center for future employees.  The board of directors at the Heart of Georgia College and Career Academy will provide a customized training space for the ongoing needs of the company.  In turn, the company will make a significant investment in the facility which will be used year round for advanced manufacturing training.

Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Director of International Investment Nico Wijnberg assisted the company on behalf of Georgia, along with GDEcD Assistant Director of Entrepreneur & Small Business and Project Manager Ryan Waldrep and Lonnie Smallwood, Sr. Project Manager at Electric Cities of Georgia (ECG).

Read Press Release here

Jindal Films Americas relocates to LaGrange, GA

December 2015 - Governor Nathan Deal announced today that Jindal Films Americas LLC (JFA), a global leader in the manufacturing of specialty films for packaging and labels, will relocate its U.S. Research and Development Center and national headquarters to Troup County.  JFA will expand an existing manufacturing facility in LaGrange, creating 240 jobs and investing $180 million in the community.

"I am delighted that JFA will expand their production facility and relocate their U.S. headquarters and R&D center to LaGrange," said City of LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton.  "They are a great company, already active in our community, and their expansion and relocation further confirms LaGrange as a great place to do business and as a regional hub for advanced manufacturing."

To read more follow this link.

Custom Ag Formulars coming to Adel, GA

November 2, 2015 - Mayor Buddy Duke, chairman of the Cook County Economic Development Commission, and commission members, announced today that Custom Ag Formulators, Inc. has made a major investment in Adel.  The company, whose corporate office is located in Fresno, CA, will construct a new facility in Cook County’s 3000 acre South Georgia Megasite.  Phase I of the project will create 16 jobs, and represents over $800,000 in capital investment, which includes the facility, land, and machinery and equipment. Plans for Phase II will be announced within 24 months and will represent a capital investment and job creation comparable to Phase I.   

"We welcome Custom Ag Formulators to our business community and look forward to a long and prosperous relationship," Duke said.  "I am confident that our county's competitive assets, including our strategic location and highly capable workforce, will prove beneficial for the future growth of the company." 

Read the full Press Release below.


Sandler AG Brings 140 new jobs to Houston County

September 24, 2015 - Governor Nathan Deal announced today during an economic development mission to Germany that Sandler AG, a German textile supplies, will complete construction of a manufacturing plant in Perry, Georgia.  This represents an investment of more than $30 million and will create more than 140 new jobs in Houston County.

“Sandler’s leadership team in Germany is taking advantage of a significant opportunity for growth in Georgia,” said Deal. “We have the capability to provide them with access to a skilled workforce, a distribution-friendly location and a strong pro-business climate. These factors were key in Sandler’s decision to come to Georgia, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact this project will have on our state.”

Sandler is a privately-held, family-owned company that supplies textiles to international manufacturers, including a number of American Fortune 500 companies. The new Georgia facility will function as a production plant, warehouse and base for national sales and distribution. Sandler will begin recruiting employees and filling jobs for the facility in early 2016.

“We are proud to have a company of this caliber locate in our Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development certified industrial park,” said Houston County Development Authority Chairman Mark Byrd. “This project is an example of our community and a company coming together with the ultimate goal of bringing quality jobs to our citizens. We are excited to see the relationship that has evolved with Sandler over the past few months continue to flourish.”

Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Senior Project Manager Nico Wijnberg is Georgia’s representive for the project and has worked closely with Electric Cities of Georgia and the Houston County Development Authority throughout development and early construction.

Read the full Georgia Press Release here.

Camilla Welcomes Hibbett Sports and Marvin's Hardware!

June 9, 2015 – Hibbett Sporting Goods, Inc. (“Hibbett”), the national sporting goods retailer based in Birmingham, Ala., is pleased to announce the execution of a lease for a new store in Camilla, Ga. 

Hibbett Sports plans to open the new location this fall in the old Walmart building next door to Marvin’s. The store anticipates employing eight full and part-time team members. Currently Hibbett has 99 locations in the state of Georgia alone. 

"Hibbett expressed interest in the Camilla market for quite some time due to the large void in sporting goods and positive market analysis for Mitchell County and the surrounding trade area. While Camilla’s appeal was strong the retailer was looking for a larger anchor to be its neighbor. Together, Marvin’s Building Materials and Hibbett Sports will be a perfect use for the old Wal-Mart Space helping to revitalize the underutilized Camilla Marketplace shopping center, and encouraging further consideration from other regional and national retailers.", said Mill Graves, ECG's Retail-Commercial Business Development Associate.

Hibbett is a fast-growing operator of over 1,000 full-line sporting goods stores in small to mid-sized markets, predominantly in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. 

Hibbett Sports stores offer a large selection of quality branded athletic equipment, footwear and apparel, with a focus on knowledgeable, friendly customer service and providing customers with information they can't always get at other stores selling sporting goods. Hibbett Sports has a long history of focusing on the needs of local teams and leagues, with a variety of services to meet the needs of coaches and players alike.

Hibbett is the only sporting goods chain committed to serving small and mid-size markets.  This strategy has proved to be a successful one for Hibbett as the company continues to expand its number of stores across the U.S.

June 15, 2015 - Marvin's Building Materials and Home Centers today announced plans to open a new store in Camilla, Georgia.  The store is currently under construction on the corner of Highway 19 and Oakland Avenue/Georgia Route 112. It will be located in the previous Wal-Mart location, next to the new Super Wal-Mart.  “We are excited to announce our newest store in Camilla, Georgia.  We have been looking for a site in Camilla for some time now and we were fortunate to find an available building at the most convenient intersections for shoppers in the area,” said Darrin Gilliam, CEO. The store will feature a 30,000 square foot home center in addition to an attached lawn and garden center and drive through lumberyard. Marvin’s is known for its friendly, neighborhood stores that make home improvement projects easy and affordable and will offer a complete line of building materials, appliances, electrical, plumbing, paint, millwork, hardware, tools, and lawn and garden products. The store is expected to open in late October of 2015 according to Marvin’s owner, Michael Cohn, who commented, “We like to be members of the local community where we open a store and we look forward to introducing our Marvin’s team to the citizens of Camilla, Mitchell County, and the surrounding areas.”

“Just as we’ve found in many of our new stores, feedback from the city indicates that we will capture a great deal of sales that are currently being served outside of the city and county.  We would like to thank Paige Gilchrist with the Mitchell County Development Authority, the City Council, Mayor Twitty, and the entire city administration for their support.” said Gilliam. 

Marvin's will hire approximately 25 associates to work in the new store.  "We like to hire friendly people from the community as all of our stores have a 'hometown' feel," said Gilliam.  The Camilla Chamber of Commerce is collecting employment applications for all open positions beginning June 22, 2015.  People who are interested may pick up and turn in their application Monday through Friday from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm at the Camilla Chamber of Commerce located at 212 E Broad St, Camilla, GA 31730.  Available positions range from management to part-time associates.  Job descriptions and more information about Marvin’s can be found on our website at

The company was founded in 1945 by Marvin Cohn in Gadsden, Alabama and expanded into a multi-chain home center by his son, Alfred.  Marvin’s is celebrating their 70th Anniversary of doing business in the Southeast.  It is currently operated by third generation owners Michael and Daniel Cohn.  Marvin's has 28 additional stores in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee.  Marvin’s was named the 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Lumber and Building Material Journal and was awarded the 2010 Retailer of the Year by the Home Channel News.

Deal Announces 200 Jobs in Stephens County

June 9, 2015 - Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that NIFCO KTW, a German automotive supplier of high-quality injection molded components, will locate its U.S. operations in Toccoa, creating 200 jobs and investing $27 million within the first five years. 
“Automotive suppliers such as NIFCO KTW choose Georgia because they trust that our state is the best place to grow their business,” said Deal. “Stephens County boasts pro-business resources and a ready-to-work community that provides a stable foundation for global companies to flourish. After more than 40 years of business ties with Germany in this region, I look forward to the high-quality jobs that this thriving, industry-leading company will bring to this community and our state.”
NIFCO KTW supplies many automotive manufacturers around the world. The Toccoa-based facility will supply injection-molded parts to BMW and Mercedes-Benz USA, among others. The quality injection components can be found on the interior and exterior of a variety of vehicles.  
“We at NIFCO KTW are proud and feel very fortunate to have found Toccoa in Stephens County as the home of our new U.S. headquarters and production facility in North America,” said NIFCO KTW Managing Director Roland Furtmayr. “Local and regional connectivity is the basis for our success in Germany and we strive to do the same in the U.S. We would like to offer our qualified and motivated employees pleasant and attractive surroundings. In the City of Toccoa, we have found the perfect partner in North America for this goal. NIFCO KTW looks forward to becoming a reliable and successful employer that contributes to positive economic development in Stephens County.”
As the company’s first North American headquarters, NIFCO KTW will build an initial 130,000-square-foot facility on 32 acres of Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development-certified land at Hayestone Brady Business Park. The company also has intentions of expanding this site in the future. NIFCO KTW will also plan to take advantage of QuickStart, the nation’s No. 1 workforce training program, to provide customized training to the new employees. 
KTW is headquartered in Weissenburg, Germany, and employs 350 people. The company recently joined the NIFCO Group, which supplies plastic injection components globally from plants in 14 countries.
Germany is one of Georgia’s top investor nations, leading in number of facilities, number of jobs and money value investment. Nico Wijnberg, project manager on the international investment team at the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), represented the state and partnered with Lonnie Smallwood at Electric Cities of Georgia and Tim Martin at the Stephens County Development Authority. 
“Georgia is constantly on the radar for international automotive suppliers that are looking to expand operations to the U.S.,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “Our strategic location near a large base of original equipment manufacturers and direct access to a skilled workforce and interconnected logistics infrastructure make Georgia the ideal location for NIFCO KTW’s first North American headquarters.”
“The Stephens County Development Authority welcomes NIFCO KTW to our community,” said Stephens County Development Authority Chairman Brian Akin. “This is an exciting day for Toccoa-Stephens County and a huge win for our local job market. It has been a very rewarding experience throughout this process to see our local leaders working together for the common good of our community. The investments that we have made in infrastructure, workforce development and education are starting to pay some significant dividends. The fact that a world-class company such as NIFCO KTW has selected Stephens County as its U.S. headquarters speaks volumes about our readiness and desire to compete in the global marketplace. We couldn’t be any happier with the decision that NIFCO KTW has made, and we stand committed and ready to make sure that their expansion into the U.S. is successful.”

GEIGER Automotive Creates 120 Jobs in Gwinnett County

April 30, 2015 - The Georgia Department of Economic (GDEcD) today announced that Germany based GEIGER Automotive, a leading global manufacturer of high quality plastic products for the automotive industry, will open a U.S. manufacturing facility in Gwinnett County, creating as many as 120 jobs over the next several years.  
“GEIGER Automotive’s decision to locate its U.S. facility in Gwinnett County underscores not only our booming auto hub, but also the growth of German companies in Georgia,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “The state’s strategic location to large OEMs, including the Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant, coupled with a highly skilled workforce, create the ideal location for companies such as GEIGER Automotive to thrive.”
In order to better reach its growing customer base in the Southeast, the company will move into a 48,000-foot facility in Suwanee.  The new facility will manufacture plastic automotive components for engine compartment powertrain applications.  GEIGER produces highly engineered products for cooling and brake systems in relation to air and fluid management, as well as many other functional products under the hood.  The new jobs will be in injection molding and assembly manufacturing, as well as customer support positions.
“We are pleased to locate our U.S. operations in Georgia,” said Ralph Ralston, president, NAFTA region, GEIGER Automotive, USA, Inc. “This location was strategically selected to optimize our ability to supply to our current automotive customers in the southeast U.S.  We see an increasing interest from automotive OEMs in the region and a high growth potential for us here in Gwinnett County.”
GEIGER has steadily grown to become one of the leading partners of the automotive industry. Today, at its other state-of-the-art production locations in Germany, Mexico and China, the company manufactures precision components and subassemblies to satisfy the high demands of its customers.
Germany is one of Georgia’s top five investor nations. Since June 2014, German automotive companies have invested more than $160 million and created more than 1,400 jobs in Georgia. Nico Wijnberg, GDEcD international project manager, supported the company on behalf of Georgia, along with Lonnie Smallwood, project manager at Electric Cities of Georgia and Partnership Gwinnett.
“I am pleased to welcome GEIGER to our growing international business community,” Gwinnett Board of Commissions Chairman Charlotte Nash said. “Gwinnett is committed to supporting the expansion of international businesses to our community and to promoting the county as a prime destination for companies worldwide. We are glad that GEIGER has chosen to grow in our community and wish them continued success.”
“This is a great win for the City of Suwanee and we are thrilled to count GEIGER Automotive as one of our newest businesses,” said Suwanee Mayor Jimmy Burnette. “We are confident that they will find the support and resources in our community that are necessary to remain competitive in the U.S. and around the world.”

West Point Welcomes ITC Security Partners

March 18, 2015 - The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) today announced that ITC Security Partners LLC, a professional expert security services provider, will locate its headquarters to West Point, Ga., creating 90 jobs over the next three years. 

"Nearly 2,000 jobs have been announced from headquarter expansions or re-locations to Georgia just since last October,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “Today's news is an indicator that Georgia's thriving business community is the right place for this kind of growth. ITC Security Partners will continue to take advantage of a vast network of companies and a skilled workforce to fuel growth." 

The company will expand its existing facility by 10,000 square feet to accommodate the company’s headquarter operations. The newly created jobs will include administrative, supervisory, production and maintenance positions.

"We are excited to be based in West Point as we support our customers around the world in our mission of making the world safer,” said Chief Executive Officer of ITC Security Partners, Todd Holt. ITC Security Partners’ strategic partnership with an elite group of K9 detection and security businesses positions the company with unmatched strengths and experience. 

ITC Security Partners also offers an extensive selection of K9 handler, training and instructor courses with a broad in-depth curriculum. More than 3,000 law enforcement K9s have been sold domestically and internationally. 

E. Jane Caraway, senior project manager of the existing industry and regional recruitment team at GDEcD, assisted ITC Security Partners on behalf of Georgia, along with the West Point Development Authority and Electric Cities of Georgia. 

“The City of West Point is excited to welcome ITC Security Partners to the growing and diverse business in our community,” said West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson. “Not only are we grateful for the capital investment, but most importantly for the new jobs being created. I am also thankful for the important contributions made by the West Point Development Authority and the State of Georgia, that made this project a reality. We look forward to a great relationship with ITC Holdings, AMK9 and wish them many years of prosperity here in the City of West Point, GA.” 

“The West Point Development Authority is very proud to welcome ITC Security Partners,” said Josh Moon, vice chairman, West Point Development Authority. “They are a top notch team and have a great operation. We look forward to working with them and are excited for their future growth and opportunities.”

Thomasville's New Economic Development Video

March 13, 2015 - The City of Thomasville's has a new economic development video that was shot by drone cameras and produced by the Thomasville CNS TV station! Check it out here on their website! 

WebstaurantStore to Create 150 Jobs in Dougherty County

February 19, 2015 - Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that WebstaurantStore, an e-commerce brand that sells restaurant equipment and supplies, will create 150 jobs and invest $10 million into a distribution and fulfillment center in Albany over the next three years.

“E-commerce companies such as WebstaurantStore choose Georgia because they can trust that here they will find opportunities for innovation and growth,” said Deal. “With our skilled, dedicated workforce and business-friendly environment, I have no doubt that WebstaurantStore will remain highly competitive in today’s ever-changing market.”

WebstaurantStore will locate to an existing 472,000-square-foot facility. The company’s Albany distribution center will serve clients in the Southeast and will help meet the company’s goal of providing one-day shipping to its customers. Hiring is expected to begin in December 2015.

“We are very excited to be coming to the Albany area and look forward to being part of the community for many years to come,” said WebstaurantStore President Dave Groff.

WebstaurantStore, headquartered in Lancaster, Pa., is the leading restaurant supply store, with more than 4 million orders shipped to date. The company’s current three U.S. distribution centers provide restaurant supplies and equipment to the foodservice industry and individual customers worldwide.

Walt Farrell, director of advanced manufacturing, and David Dunagan, project manager on the logistics team at the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), assisted WebstaurantStore on behalf of the state along with the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission and Matt Colvin with Electric Cities of Georgia.

“Albany is proud to be known as a great location for worldwide distribution and logistics effectiveness, and we continue to bolster that reputation with the addition of WebstaurantStore,” said Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission President Justin Strickland. “Our transportation infrastructure, our workforce and our low costs of doing business makes Albany one of the most attractive sites for national and international companies and allows them to efficiently serve their growing base of customers.”

Investment in logistics and distribution in Georgia grew nearly 152 percent over last fiscal year’s numbers, representing more than $600 million in investment during FY 2014.

"Georgia's solid logistics and distribution sector continues to attract thriving companies such as WebstaurantStore," said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. "Our No. 1 business climate, which includes a growing network of customers and six interstates that connect to 80 percent of the U.S. population,  will help WebstaurantStore better reach customers quickly and efficiently.”

About WebstaurantStore

Since its establishment in 2004, WebstaurantStore has succeeded in creating and fostering an innovative, easy-to-use website to meet the purchasing needs of food service professionals internationally. Developers, programmers, content writers, technical support staff, purchasers and warehouse employees work together to provide the best in price, service and industry knowledge to customers. 

THINC Breaks Ground at WGTC

February 9, 2015 - Officials for the THINC College and Career Academy celebrated the beginning of facility’s construction at West Georgia Technical College on Thursday.

Kathy Carlisle, CEO of THINC, held back tears as she thanked the LaGrange, Troup County and school system officials who have supported the project.

“This is a great day for us and marks a new day for students in Troup County,” Carlisle said. “For so long we could only picture this and now we are seeing this happening. It’s a very exciting project.”

She noted the long road the academy has taken since it began as a strategic planning initiative to boost Troup County’s graduation rate and competitiveness for new industries. After an 108-person steering committee set the goals and plans in motion for a college and career academy, Carlisle and others who came to the board carried the idea to reality.

THINC opened partially this year as a facilitator of the school system’s work-based learning programs. It is scheduled to open next fall as a stand-alone facility that high school students can attend to learn more focused career- and college-based programs.

Mellissa Rowland, a current West Georgia Technical College student, said she entered into the certified nursing program with her certified nursing assistant certification in place because of dual enrollment. She attended college courses while still in high school, and the opportunity has put her ahead of others.

Josh Kelley, a student at Callaway High School, said that his participation in work-based learning has given him a heads up not only on job skills, but in how he should behave in the business world.

“Today is about the idea turning into a reality,” said John Asbell, chairman of THINC Board of Directors. “It’s just the beginning and we are very excited.”

To ceremonially note the beginning of construction and remodeling at the WGTC facility, Carlisle, Troup County School System Superintendent Cole Pugh and WGTC Provost Perrin Alford used golden hammers to strike nails. They were surrounded by representatives from companies and groups that have contributed to THINC.

Walmart Finding Opportunity in ECG Communities

January 22, 2015 - Since 1998 the world’s largest retailer has diversified its brand with smaller footprint stores that move away from the traditional big box Supercenter to appeal to changing customer expectations and new market opportunities.  Ranging from 12-41,000 square feet and employing around 30-100, the Express and Neighborhood Market grocery concepts serve as lower impact development opportunities for communities, both urban and rural, while also providing the convenience of discount groceries.

Walmart’s smaller concepts entered the Georgia market 3 years ago in the form of a Neighborhood Market in Marietta and continue to identify development opportunities throughout the state. Most recently, Albany and LaGrange worked with Wal-Mart preferred developers to open Neighborhood Market stores, and Ellaville welcomed a new 15,000 square foot Walmart Express in early January. Additionally, developers in Dalton are moving forward on a neighborhood store in an older shopping center scheduled to be open this summer. Each store concept will carry an assortment or full line of groceries, cleaning supplies, health and beauty aids, pharmacy, and most will include a fuel station.

A smaller footprint and diverse range of discount and grocery goods allows Wal-Mart the ability to identify unique retail voids or opportunities in each community, particularly as it relates to underserved urban and rural trade areas with predominantly low to middle income consumers.  With continued expansion plans for the grocery concept across Georgia Walmart’s retail model can serve as a benefit towards neighborhood revitalization and community planning. 

Solar Comes to Mitchell County

December 22, 2014 - Sunny skies mean so much more in Mitchell County these days. Their recent location of the second largest solar farm in Georgia (with 66,000 panels on over 150 acres, with the generated energy reaching 6,000 homes) has local leaders very interested in the weather. 

Check out this video made by the Mitchell County Development Authority and the Georgia Solar Energy Association about this solar farm, the largest south of Atlanta. The Georgia Solar Energy Association's main goal is to educate people about solar energy, and this project shows how a small rural community came together to make it happen.

Southwest Georgia: Reloading and Rebranding

December 17, 2014 - As featured in the December 2014 issue of Georgia Trend:

Economic developers in Southwest Georgia, which boasts some of the richest, most biologically diverse ecological systems in the United States, seem to be drinking the same water. Throughout the area, communities of all sizes are undertaking bold new efforts to pitch their stories beyond their borders to attract business, industry and visitors.

Lowndes County, for example, is beginning to tout itself as a “cool community” ripe with opportunities for young people, particularly downtown. The aim: “Keeping more of our college and university graduates in South Georgia,” says Myrna Ballard, the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce president. “Young professionals seek out vibrant downtowns and communities that have a lot of diverse things for people in their age group to do – shopping, restaurants, coffee, nightlife. That’s our community – and that’s our message.”

While many communities have hired out-of-town promotion experts to assist with their efforts, leaders in Dougherty County also are soliciting the aid of tens of thousands of individual marketers – its residents.

The “There’s Only One Albany” branding campaign was created in 2014 because local research shows that many residents have a negative community outlook, says Justin Strickland, the Albany-Dougherty County Economic Development Commission president.

The multimedia campaign includes a strong Web and video push along with print and broadcast advertisements, billboards and downtown banners. The venture features familiar faces proudly touting the community as a great place to live, work and play and includes a “Local Heroes” program that encourages people to bring attention to their friends, neighbors and coworkers who lend helping hands and are change agents in the community.

“The best people who can tell the Albany and Dougherty County story are those of us who live here,” Strickland says. “The campaign is a reminder to all of us about how much there is to love about Albany and Dougherty County, and that there are lots of reasons to be proud about living here.”

Just months into the campaign, Strickland says he thinks the efforts are paying off.

“You can just tell that there’s a positive change and a lot of community pride here that we haven’t felt in Albany and Dougherty County in a long time,” he says.

Strickland’s team also is in the early stages of building a regional alliance of partners in Southwest Georgia.

“All of us who do what we do have found that if we cooperate with the people we compete against for projects, we can all benefit in the long run,” Strickland says of forming a regional economic development organization, which is in its infancy. “Positioning ourselves [collectively] puts us in a much better competitive position with companies and industries.”

Barbara Grogan, the Americus-Sumter County Payroll Development Authority and Chamber of Commerce executive director, says small communities like hers will benefit greatly from the collaboration.

“All of our communities rely on each other for our combined regional workforce, and we don’t mind helping each other,” she says. “It’s a great opportunity, and we’re very eager to be a part of it. We look at it as if Southwest Georgia benefits, we all benefit.”

In Colquitt County, two big projects are well underway that could benefit the entire region. The county will soon have a new $45-million high school, and the $30-million renovation and expansion at Colquitt Regional Medical Center in Moultrie will offer upgraded services and facilities that will help keep the region healthy.

In neighboring Tift County, American Textile Co. (ATC) is expanding. ATC has operated a bedding products manufacturing and distribution facility since 2011. A recently announced $10-million investment will create more than 100 new jobs over the next three years.

Cook County is exploding with infrastructure investment and new industry, according to Lisa Collins, director of the Cook County Economic Development Commission (EDC). Just this year the EDC has been working with three new companies to bring $70 million in capital investment and 130 jobs when the details are finalized.

The EDC also completed a $1.3-million road improvement project at the South Georgia Megasite, Cook County’s 3,000-acre industrial park adjacent to I-75. In addition, the recently completed $5-million-plus airport improvement project features new hangars, a 4,000-foot and a 5,001-foot crosswind runway, 24/7 fuel station and an FAA-approved repair station. The terminal also now houses the EDC office – handy for folks flying in and out for site visits.

This article appears in its entirety in the December 2014 issue of Georgia Trend.

German-based Die Making Company Locates to Laurens County, Creates 52 Jobs

Oct. 31, 2014 – The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) today announced that AWEBA Group, one of the largest and most advanced die-making enterprises in Europe, will locate to Dublin, creating 52 jobs and investing $6 million into a die-making facility over the next five years.

 “AWEBA’s decision to locate to Georgia solidifies our position as a leader in the global marketplace,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “This forward-looking company is an excellent addition to Georgia’s booming manufacturing infrastructure. With access to a strong logistics system, qualified labor and advanced R&D resources from our universities and technical schools, AWEBA Group will stay ahead of global competition with its operations in Georgia.” 

The company will lease a 30,000-square-foot building where they will produce tools and dies for the NAFTA region. The new location will create 52 new jobs, including tool setters and production workers.

“The close proximity to our clients, the highly qualified labor force and the excellent training programs clearly identified Dublin as the ideal location for our new facility,” says Udo Binder, CEO of AWEBA. “We are grateful for all the support that we have received by the economic development authorities of Dublin-Laurens County and the state of Georgia.”

The AWEBA Group, headquartered in Aue, Germany, is one of the largest and most advanced die-making enterprises in Europe.  Their products encompass the complete range of die-making technology and engineering.  The company is a global player and regarded as a reliable partner not only for product development and the manufacturing of dies and fixtures, but also for their maintenance, repair and the supply of spare parts over the product’s entire life cycle.

Nico Wijnberg, project manager at the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) assisted the company on behalf of the state of Georgia, along with Lonnie Smallwood, project manager at Electric Cities of Georgia and Dublin-Laurens County Development Authority. Antje Abshoff, GDEcD managing director for the office in Europe, offered additional support.

“2014 continues to be an outstanding year in economic development for our community,” said Phil Best, Mayor of Dublin.  “AWEBA is another fantastic addition to our local economy, and they will add to the strong European manufacturing base that has already chosen Dublin as their home.  Congratulations to our state and local economic development teams. The city of Dublin is especially grateful to the company for their investment, job creation and decision to locate in Middle Georgia.” 

“We were delighted to work with AWEBA and their leadership and we are thrilled to see them commit to Dublin-Laurens County,” said Scott Beasley, chairman of the Dublin-Laurens County Development Authority during the recruitment process.  “Not only are they creating more than 50 good-paying manufacturing jobs here, but they will also serve as a local tool and die supplier to other existing industries in our region, which will add additional economic impact.” 


The AWEBA Group is one of the largest and most advanced tool and die making enterprises in Europe. Their know-how encompasses the total range of die-making technology and engineering. The company is a global player and regarded as a reliable partner not only for product development and the manufacture of tools, dies and fixtures, but also for their maintenance, repair and the supply of replacement parts over the product’s entire life cycle.

Badcock to Locate to LaGrange

October 21, 2014 - Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that W.S. Badcock Corp., one of the largest privately held furniture retailers in the United States, will construct a new regional distribution center in LaGrange, investing $22 million and employing more than 100.

“Badcock’s new regional distribution center is an excellent addition to Troup County,” said Deal. “This expansion is a testament to our state’s top-ranked business climate, and I have no doubt that Georgia’s skilled workforce and globally recognized logistics infrastructure will support future growth and success.”

The 535,000-square-foot facility will be located at the Callaway South Industrial Park in LaGrange and is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2015. The project will include enhanced energy efficiency technologies and is designed for expansion to 700,000 square feet. This facility will replace two existing facilities in Thomson and Cullman, Ala.

“We are very pleased with the cooperation from the officials in LaGrange,” said W.S. Badcock President Mike Price. “Their progressive attitude and effective leadership were influential in our selection of the community. This is a significant project for our company, and we are delighted to make this investment here and become an integral part of LaGrange and Troup County. The new distribution facility is designed to handle distribution to our current network of locations and will also accommodate our planned growth of new stores.”

“We are thrilled that Badcock chose Georgia for their new regional distribution facility,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Chris Carr. “Georgia’s logistics infrastructure will give them easy access to supply their growing number of retail stores across the Southeast.”

Charlie Moseley, senior project manager at the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), assisted Badcock on behalf of the state, along with the LaGrange Office of Economic Development and Lonnie Smallwood at Electric Cities of Georgia.

“We welcome Badcock’s distribution facility to LaGrange,” said Mayor Jim Thornton. “They are a strong brand with an outstanding reputation for excellence and we are excited to have these jobs created in our community.”

Thomasville Welcomes Oilon

September 10, 2014 - The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) announced today that Oilon, a Finnish energy and environment technology company, will open its first U.S.-based office and warehouse in Thomasville, creating 50 jobs over the next five years.

“Innovative, growing companies such as Oilon are finding it easy to reach the North American market by locating to Georgia,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “I have no doubt that our skilled workforce and vast network of suppliers and buyers, combined with a top notch logistics and distribution infrastructure will support Oilon in reaching this market.”

Once in operation, the facility, located at 110 Lee Street, will be the company’s North American manufacturing operations, providing industrial burners and other related equipment to its customers in North America.

“Georgia plays a big role in U.S. industrial production, and, naturally, we want to be close to our key customers,” said Johan Tallberg, head of North American branch. “Thomasville offers a great pool of skilled and experienced workers for boiler and burner industries. We have several clients in the paper and pulp industry, as well as our main equipment manufacturing partners all based in Georgia.

Founded in 1961 in Finland, Oilon manufactures products that are used in power plants, waste incineration and marine boilers and district heating plants for heating/cooling large buildings and for heating private houses. Their product line has been used in the U.S. since 1997, supplying companies such as Kimberly Clark, Georgia Pacific, Weyerhauser Paper and Pul, and Packing Corp of America.

The City of Thomasville and Thomas County assisted the company with its new location. Nico Wijnberg, international project manager at GDEcD, supported the project on behalf of the state of Georgia along with Lonnie Smallwood, ECG project manager.

“We are thrilled to welcome Oilon to Thomasville for their first U.S. based office and we look forward to their growth in the years to come,” said Executive Director of the Thomasville Thomas County Development Authority Shelley Zorn.

TSYS to Create 450 Jobs in McDonough

September 16, 2014 - Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that TSYS, a global payments company headquartered in Columbus, will create up to 450 jobs through a new contact center in Henry County. 

“TSYS’s decision to expand in Georgia is a testament to our state’s top-ranked business climate and qualified workforce,” said Deal. “Businesses that choose to locate here are finding it easy to expand here, and I have no doubt that our state will continue to provide this growing company with the necessary resources to remain globally competitive.”

The 62,000-square-foot TSYS facility, located at 3500 Loop Road, will house a new contact center that will provide back-up capabilities for its existing center in Columbus. This expansion will offer customer service, risk and fraud management, collections, dispute and chargeback servicing, back office support and full call center servicing solutions. Slated to open later this year, the new facility will provide substantial opportunities to expand TSYS’s services, supporting organic growth and generating business with new and existing clients.   

“We are excited about the opening of our new center in McDonough,” said Group Executive of TSYS Managed Services David Figgat. “We are confident that we will be able to attract top-notch talent from the market that will help us deliver comprehensive servicing solutions for our clients, while optimizing the overall customer experience.”

TSYS supports financial institutions, businesses, governments and consumers worldwide, offering issuer services and merchant payment acceptance for credit, debit, prepaid and healthcare payments. A Georgia-based company, TSYS’s global headquarters has been located in Columbus for the entirety of the company’s 31-year history. 

Lauren Salas Lambiase, project manager at the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) and Lonnie Smallwood, Business Development Associate with Electric Cities of Georgia (ECG), supported the company on behalf of the state of Georgia along with Bob White from Henry County Development Authority. 

“We are delighted that TSYS, one of Georgia’s leading companies and a global leader in the financial technology services industry, has chosen Henry County for their new contact center,” said Henry County Development Authority Chairman Bill Herndon. “TSYS has been recognized as one of the country’s most ethical and socially responsible companies, and we look forward to welcoming them as our newest corporate citizen.”

“TSYS is an excellent addition to the state’s booming FinTech sector, one which employs more than 25,000 Georgians,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “Our strong network of companies, skilled workforce and broadband connectivity will help propel this innovative company forward.”

Valmiera Glass to create 150 jobs in Dublin

July 29, 2014 - Governor Nathan Deal announced that Valmiera Glass, a Latvia-based manufacturer of fiberglass products, will locate in Dublin, creating 150 jobs and investing $20 million within five years into its first U.S.-based headquarters and manufacturing facility.

"This project represents the first substantial investment form the former Soviet Union, which underscores the fact that Georgia's thriving automotive and aerospace industries and gaining attention in the international marketplace," said Deal. "Valmiera Glass will set the stage for other companies in that region to locate in Georgia."

Valmiera Glass will locate on 40 acres in an industrial park on I-16 in Dublin. The approximately 80,000-square-foot facility will manufacture fiberglass products for the North American market, heavily utilizing the Port of Savannah. Because its manufacturing process is highly automated, the newly created jobs will be well paid and will require well-trained candidates. Valmiera Glass will also take advantage of QuickStart, Georgia’s top-ranked workforce training program.

Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Project Manager Nico Wijnberg assisted the company on behalf of Georgia, along with GDEcD European Office Managing Director Antje Abshoff and Lonnie Smallwood, project manager at Electric Cities of Georgia (ECG).

Read more about the announcement.

The Cotton Cafe opens in Monroe

July 28, 2014 - After months of renovation and planning, Alexis Burton's dream of owning her own coffee shop and café became a reality earlier this month in downtown Monroe. ECG worked closely with Monroe's Downtown Development Director Sadie Krawcyzk to identity the market need and the evaluation of space for a coffee shop in the community.

"We were missing a key component in our downtown - a gathering space and coffee shop," said Ms. Krawcyzk.  "I had the perfect space in downtown for the shop and an eager investor ready to take a shot at opening her first coffee shop. We were just missing the coffee and some coffee shop business expertise.  This is where ECG's Mill Graves came into the picture, he connected us with Jittery Joe's. Jittery Joe's not only provides the coffee, they also provided business expertise along the way to opening The Cotton Café. Over the past few weeks, the café has become the perfect spot to work on your laptop, meet friends for lunch and have small business meetings."

This example of public/private partnership is increased foot traffic and extended stays in Monroe's downtown.  The Cotton Café is a great example of seeing a retail need a community and working together to make it a reality.

Read more about Monroe's downtown.

Beaulieu International Group to create 350 jobs in Bartow

July 14, 2014 - Governor Nathan Deal announced today Belgium-based Beaulieu International Group (B.I.G.) will establish its U.S. headquarters and create 350 jobs in Cartersville over the next five years.  The campus will be constructed on 120 acres directly across from the Highland 75 industrial park on land previously owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev. In the first phase, B.I.G. will design and produce 47 million square yards of cushion vinyl for commercial and residential application.

Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Chris Carr said, "More than 72 percent of the nation's carpet and rug mill manufacturing jobs are located in Georgia." He continued saying, "When high-caliber companies such as B.I.G. choose Georgia to call home, they not only enhance our portfolio of quality companies, but they also highlight the strength of our solid labor pool."

Read further details about the announcement at

Learn more about the Cartersville-Bartow County Economic Development organization on Facebook or visit their website here

It's a Great Day in Screven County

July 7, 2014 - SV Pittie Textiles broke ground today for a $70 million facility near Sylvania, GA in the Screven County Industrial Park.  The India-based textile manufacturer will employ 250 people when fully operational.  At the ground breaking, Georgia's Governor Nathan Deal credited the October 2013 announcement as a factor that caused Site Selection magazine to designate Georgia as the No. 1 place in the nation to do business.

Screven County Development Authority chairman Bobby Smith thanked everyone for working together on this project, "The investment Mr. Pittie and SV Pittie Textiles is making in our community means 250 new jobs for our friends and neighbors. Screven County, the City of Sylvania, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Governor's office and many others worked together on this project.  I'm proud to be part of a community and a state that means business when it comes to attracting jobs."

This facility will be the first in the U.S. for Shrivallabh Pittie Group.  Mr. Pittie believes there is a significant market opportunity for yarn manufacturing in Georgia due to a skilled local workforce, proximity to high-quality cotton fiber, the economical supply and reliability of power and world-class infrastructure to international markets.

Hitachi Automotive has Completed Third Production Facility in Monroe, GA

June 27, 2014 - Hitachi Automotive has completed its third production facility in Monroe, GA.  The expansion will add up to 250 new jobs by March 2017 with an expected $80 million investment by the company. The additional production facility will add 290,000 sq. ft. to the existing 230,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing floor space. The plant will continue to produce valve timing controls and propeller shafts and begin producing new products including electric power steering systems, variable displacement pumps and others in the new facility in 2016.

Hitachi Automotive Systems of Americas, Inc., manufacturers, remanufacturers and markets a wide range of automotive systems. Click here to read more about the expansion and Hitachi Automotive.

The Lakes at Green Valley in Griffin lands Second Company

June 24, 2014 - Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Japan-based Toppan Printing Co., Ltd will create 80 jobs and invest $100 million into a new facility at The Lakes at Green Valley in Griffin, Georgia's first eco-friendly park.


Niagara Battling Opening in Newnan

Niagara Bottling, LLC will open a $52 million facility in Newnan in late 2014 creating 40 new jobs. The 450,000 square foot facility will package and distribute private label water for Niagara customers. Niagara Bottling has 18 locations across the US and is the second largest bottled water maker in the country.

New Distribution Center in Forest Park, GA

One of the world's largest grocery retailers investing more than $175 million over the next five years; Governor Nathan Deal announced The Kroger Co. will locate to a new distribution center in Forest Park, GA. The 120 new jobs at the facility will include warehouse, security transportation management and other maintenance positions.

ECG's Project Manager Lonnie Smallwood said, "Georgia's logistical advantages, combined with the unique opportunity to help redevelop the former Fort Gillem site, makes Forest Park an ideal location for Kroger to establish this distribution facility. It was a pleasure working with everyone involved I making this exciting project a reality."

Read further details about the project and the announcement at 

1888 Mills Expands to Griffin

1888 Mills announced today that is has purchased the 500,000 square foot former NACOM facility on Airport Road in Griffin, Georgia. This is part of an expansion that will produce a sizeable investment in land, buildings and equipment and also create approximately 100 new jobs. Douglas R. Tingle, Board of Managers for 1888 Mills, stated, “This is part of an expansion and modernization initiative we have for our USA platform. We continue to believe that USA manufacturing is important in supporting our local community. Each manufacturing job we create has a trickledown effect to the local economy. That is what we mean by our Brand Purpose – Weaving a Better World.”

1888 Mills is a leading global manufacturer of home and commercial textiles catering to the retail, hospitality and healthcare markets worldwide. Headquartered in Griffin the Company traces its 1888 name to its roots to the proud tradition of making towels in Griffin since 1888. The Company has strategic partnerships with the nation’s leading retailers, and hospitality and institutional distributors.

“The former NACOM facility is a significant industrial asset in our community.  It is great news to not only see it be returned to productive use, but to be doing so in support of the expansion of one of our valued existing companies, 1888 Mills, makes it even more positive for Griffin and Spalding County. 1888 Mills has proven, that in spite of the challenges faced by the textile industry, there continues to be a strong demand for products made in the U.S.A., by American workers.  Doug Tingle and the management of 1888 have been tremendous partners to the Griffin-Spalding Development Authority in our effort to not only keep these jobs local, but to expand their numbers,” stated Griffin Spalding Development Authority (GSDA) Chair, Chuck Copeland.  GSDA Executive Director , David M. Luckie, echoed Mr. Copeland’s sentiments.  “We are very happy and fortunate to have such a quality company like 1888 decide to remain in our community, and also thrilled by the new investment and job creation as part of this initiative.  We look forward to our partnership with them and the positive impact they continue to have on our community and region as a whole.”  

1888 Mills currently employs 200+ people in the area. Tingle also stated, “we can think of no better place to be and are happy we could expand into a modern facility like NACOM on 68 acres.  He expressed thanks to the Griffin-Spalding Development Authority for their assistance along with help from Kenny Smith, Brant Keller, the City of Griffin Board of Commissioners, the Spalding County Board of Commissioners, and the Georgia Department of Economic Development (E. Jane Caraway).

Commerce Welcomes Ollie's Bargain Outlet Distribution Center

Gov. Deal announced today that Ollie’s will locate their new Southeast Distribution Center in Commerce, which will create approximately 175 new jobs and invest $14.56 million into the project over the next five years.

The Ollie’s facility in Commerce will support the company’s plans to expand its footprint in the Southeast.  As part of this growth plan, the company anticipates adding 30-40 stores in Georgia over a four-year period beginning in 2014.  The first Ollie’s store was founded in Mechanicsburg, Pa., in 1982 and has grown to become one of America’s largest retailers of closeouts, excess inventory, and salvage merchandise, with 154 stores in 14 states.

The 962,000-square-foot distribution center, located at the intersection of I-85 and GA Highway 98 in Commerce, will be located in the 450-acre Commerce 85 Industrial Park.  Once in operation, the distribution facility will support Ollie’s retail expansion into Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee. 

”We are delighted to expand our distribution operations into Commerce, GA,” said Ollie’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer John Swygert.  “Commerce is an ideal location for our business and Jackson County has received us with open arms.  We look forward to bringing new jobs and opportunities to the area.”

"The location of Ollie's Bargain Outlet distribution center is a great win for Commerce, representing the strong relationship between the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Electric Cities of Georgia, and the Commerce community. In addition, this location provides a unique opportunity for retail development. With the Ollie's distribution center opening in Commerce, it opens the door for Ollie's retail entry into the Southeastern Market," commented Lonnie Smallwood, Business Development Associate with ECG.

The Commerce 85 Industrial Park was developed as a joint venture between the Jackson County Industrial Development Authority, The City of Commerce and Rooker.  Annie Baxter and David Dunagan handled the project on behalf of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Paul Roeser of Jones Lang LaSalle represented Ollie’s while Greg Haynes of CBRE represent Hillwood Development (Building Owner).

“We are excited about the expansion of Ollie's into the Southeast,” said Commerce Mayor Dr. Clark Hill. “The entire council and I are especially proud that they have chosen Commerce and Jackson County for their distribution hub.  The City of Commerce looks forward to Ollie's growth and prosperity in our community.”

“We are very excited Ollie's has chosen Commerce and Jackson County,” said Jackson County Commission Chairman Tom Crow.  “They will be a great addition to our business community.  This announcement now gives us strong industrial parks at all of Jackson County's exits along the I-85 Corridor.”

“Georgia’s number one business climate, which includes a top-ranked talent pool and a world-class transportation network, is gaining the attention of progressive retailers such as Ollie’s,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr.  “Ollie’s decision to locate to Georgia underscores how important such assets are for companies who are seeking to establish new locations to serve their customers.”

About Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Inc.

Ollie's Bargain Outlet is the one of America’s  largest retailers of closeout, excess inventory and salvage merchandise. The privately-held company was founded in 1982 and currently operates 154 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, and Michigan.  For more information, visit

West Point Welcomes Hyundai Dymos America

Governor Nathan Deal announced this week that Hyundai Dymos is opening a manufacturing plant in West Point to supply Kia Motors Manufacturing.  The facility will manufacture seats for the new Kia Sorento. Hyundai Dymos will bring a $35,000,000 investment and 350 jobs to the community.  This West Point facility will allow them to take the next step in their expansion strategy in the United States.  Production is slated to begin in November 2014.

"We are happy that Hyundai Dymos has chosen West Point for their location of their new manufacturing facility.  We are looking forward to working with our newest industrial customer and excited about the opportunity this announcement will provide our community through job creation and investment." says West Point City Manager, Ed Moon.

In addition to choosing to locate in West Point, Hyundai Dymos has also chosen the City of West Point as their electric provider of choice.

Dollar General comes to Thomaston

ECG's Economic & Community Development team is proud to announce a Retail project locate. A few weeks ago, the grand opening for the newest Dollar General retail-grocery store was held in Thomaston, GA.  The store is over 15,000 square feet, will employ 15 people and have a $2,000,000 investment.
Dollar General Corporation is the nations's largest small-box discount retailer, whose mission is to serve others. They design small neighborhood stores with carefully edited merchandise assortments to make shopping simple.  This new location features a fresh layout, designed to make shopping easier and simpler for customers.  Dollar General is deeply involved in the communities it serves and is an ardent supporter of literacy and education.
Daryl Ingram, ECG's Vice President of External Affairs, said, "Our Retail-Commercial team worked to bring this project to Thomaston.  They have positioned themselves as an attractive location for retail business."

Walmart Opens in Camilla

ECG's Economic & Community Development Team is proud to announce a new Walmart opened earlier this year adjacent to the existing store in the City of Camilla. The new store will be roughly twice the size of the existing store and will hire 60 additional employees.

"The Walmart project is a great example of how a community and retailer can work together to the benefit of both parties," said Jason Fritz, ECG Retail Business Development.

Paige Gilchrist with the Mitchell County Development Authority and Bennett Adams, City Manager of Camilla, were both instrumental in working with Walmart to help foster a business-friendly environment which was key in keeping Walmart in Camilla and Mitchell County. It was previously announced that the current store was closing and 85 people would be losing their jobs. Instead, they are now hiring for 60 new positions. 

"The location of the new Walmart raises our public profile. It will make us more of a sub-regional market. As a result, it should help other retail stores in the area. When folks come to shop at Walmart, they may choose to visit other local establishments while they're here," said Bennett Adams, Camilla City Manager.

Norton Packaging to Open Georgia Manufacturing Operation in Monticello

Container manufacturer will create 90 jobs, invest $12 million in first Southeast facility

ATLANTA, Feb. 12, 2013—The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) announced today that Norton Packaging, Inc. is creating 90 new jobs and investing $12 million in a new manufacturing operation in Jasper County.  Norton Packaging, which broke ground today for its new facility, specializes in containers that hold a wide variety of products, and will manufacture plastic injection molded rigid shipping containers at the Monticello facility.  

“As a growing state, Georgia hosts a thriving environment for manufacturers, which keeps us top-of-mind for companies deciding to relocate or expand,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Cummiskey. “Companies can expect to find here well-trained workers and an outstanding logistics system that gives them access to the world.” 

Norton Packaging, owned by the same family who founded it in 1901, supplies companies in the United States, Southeast Asia, Europe and Australia. Some of the industries the company services include paint, janitorial, petrochemical, adhesive, agricultural chemicals and food packaging. Norton is headquartered in Hayward, Calif., and operates three other facilities in California and Indiana. The 76,000-square-foot Georgia location will service the southeast region of the United States as well as Puerto Rico and Europe.

“This location in Georgia’s heartland is an outgrowth of a business strategy to extend existing customer relationships in addition to expanding our customer base in fast-growing markets,” said Scott Norton, co-president of Norton Packaging. “We were drawn here by the state’s advantageous business climate, and we look forward to becoming an integral part of the community.” 

Norton plans to begin hiring by July 2013. Georgia Quick Start, the country’s top-rated customized workforce training program, will assist the company with its training needs.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development partnered with the Development Authority of Jasper County to manage this project. GDEcD senior project manager Andrew Neumann assisted Norton on behalf of the state. 

“We’re very pleased that Norton Packaging has found our community the perfect fit for its needs, and we look forward to working with the company as it puts down roots and finds success in Jasper County,” said David Dyer, Executive Director, Development Authority of Jasper County. 

“There is no better reward for a lot of work by a lot of people than having a fine company like Norton commit to its future growth and create job opportunities right here in our community,” commented Monticello Mayor Bryan Standifer.

About Norton Packaging 
Since 1901, Norton Packaging, Inc. has developed and grown under the direction of four generations of Norton family members, providing quality products to meet the demands of its valued customers, currently numbering over 600, domestic and foreign. Norton Packaging currently operates two production facilities nationally, and supplies its diverse customer base with containers that hold a wide variety of products. 

Athens-Clarke & Oconee Counties Welcome Caterpillar

Read the latest on the Caterpillar Project: it has been cited for Honorable Mention in Business Facilities’ 2012 Economic Development Deal of the Year competition.

ECG's Economic & Community Development Team is proud to announce that Caterpillar will locate a new manufacturing facility in Athens-Clarke and Oconee Counties. Caterpillar expects the new facility to include 1,400 new employees and a total investment in Georgia of $200 million. 
Governor Nathan Deal and Doug Oberhelman, Chairman and CEO of Caterpillar, Inc., made this announcement at the Georgia State Capitol this morning. "Georgia is proud to have built a business climate that provides the logistics, workforce, speed and efficiency that global industry leaders like Caterpillar are looking for," said Gov. Deal. "We appreciate Caterpillar's continued investment in our state."
Caterpillar will locate its new one-million-square-foot facility on more than 250 acres of an industrial site that spans Athens-Clarke and Oconee Counties. Caterpillar already has several facilities in Georgia including Griffin, LaGrange and Thomasville.
"We are proud that our partnerships with the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), the leadership of Athens-Clarke and Oconee Counties, and Caterpillar, have led to a project that will so significantly contribute to the community and to Georgia," said Annie Baxter, ECG Project Manager.    
ECG Project Manager Annie Baxter worked with GDEcD Senior Project Manager Chip Mitchell, who led the state's project team, and regional partners from Athens-Clarke and Oconee Counties.  
Chris Cummiskey, Commissioner of the GDEcD, closed the announcement at the Capitol with thanks to regional leadership, partners at the State, and Electric Cities of Georgia's Charlie Gatlin and Annie Baxter without whom "the project would not have been possible." 

Tractor Supply Company to Open in Thomaston!

ECG's Economic & Community Development Team is proud to announce a Retail project locate. Tractor Supply Company will open in Thomaston at the start of 2013 and will bring a dozen new jobs.
Tractor Supply Company is the largest retail farm and ranch store chain in America and has located in a building in Thomaston that formerly housed a Winn Dixie. The city's utility provides electricity to the site. ECG worked closely with Chamber of Commerce Director, Lori Showalter Smith, on this project.
"Lori provided Jason with available building details, and then he prepared our demographics and reached out to Tractor Supply," said Patrick Comiskey, Thomaston City Manager. "Tractor Supply will be an asset to Thomaston's growing retail sector. Our Chamber of Commerce worked closely with ECG Retail Economic Development - a partnership that is yielding results."
Jason Fritz, ECG's Retail-Commercial Development Associate, attracts retail businesses exclusively to ECG Communities. "Our retail focus on economic development is a unique advantage for ECG Communities," said Fritz. "The City of Thomaston and the Chamber of Commerce have positioned themselves as an attractive location for retail businesses."

Dollar General Market Finds a Home in Fort Valley

ECG's Economic & Community Development Team is proud to announce a Retail project locate. In early November, Fort Valley celebrated a groundbreaking ceremony to welcome a new Dollar General Market to their downtown. The store will be about 20,700 square feet and employ around 40 people. 

This development is only the fourth Dollar General Market in Georgia. The Market is the concept of Dollar General to expand its selection to grocery, frozen and dairy items, fresh produce and fresh meat. Construction is slated to begin in Fort Valley in the coming weeks. 

Jason Fritz, ECG's Retail-Commercial Development Associate, attracts retail businesses exclusively to ECG Communities. "Our retail focus on economic development is a unique advantage for ECG Communities," said Fritz. "This project is a great example of people on the national, state and local level working together to find a great location for a great company."

Morneau Shepell Expansion!

ECG is proud to announce the newest project locate in Georgia. Morneau Shepell is an expansion project that is expected to create 90 jobs and a $2 million investment.

Earlier this year, Morneau Shepell, a Canadian-based benefits and consulting firm acquired SBC Systems Company, Inc., an Atlanta-based “employee benefits” consulting firm. As a result of the acquisition, Morneau Shepell needed to expand its call center operation which required them to determine which of their current operations would be the best fit for expansion.

With offices in Pennsylvania, Toronto and Montreal, the company’s options were varied; ECG Economic & Community Development coordinated with senior management from Morneau Shepell, and with the research analysis of our own Technical Services, the company faced compelling reasons to expand in the State of Georgia.

Outdoor Network Chooses Albany!

ECG's Economic & Community Development Team is proud to announce that Outdoor Network, one of the largest online suppliers of parts and accessories for marine and powersports enthusiasts, will relocate its internet fulfillment center to Albany. Outdoor Network will create 112 jobs and invest $3.2 million.  
"Albany-Dougherty County's telecommunications infrastructure, low cost-of-doing business and four-lane highway connectivity make the community an ideal location for Outdoor Network's Internet fulfillment center," said Ted Clem, CEcD, president of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission.
From Albany, Outdoor Network will be able to obtain customer orders and fulfill and service those orders for shipment around the world. It will also provide customer service assistance to its global customer base. 
"In my 35 years doing business, I have never encountered such a warm, inviting business climate as I have in Georgia," said Tom D'Azevedo, owner of Outdoor Network.  
Work force training for Outdoor Network will be provided by Georgia Quick Start through Albany Technical College.
"The location of Outdoor Network is a great example of the success strong partnerships between ECG, the local development commission and the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) can bring to life," said Annie Baxter, ECG Business Development Associate.  
Annie Baxter worked closely with Justin Strickland, vice president of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission, and Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) director of the corporate solutions and data centers team, Blair Lewis, on this project. 

Genesis 10 Grand Opening!

ECG's Economic & Community Development Team is proud to announce that Genesis 10, a business firm with 18 offices across the country, is locating its fourth domestic delivery center to handle process outsourcing for businesses in Sandy Springs. Genesis 10 will generate 200 high-paying jobs.  
Senator Saxby Chambliss and Founder and CEO of Genesis 10, Harley Lippman participated in the ribbon cutting yesterday.  
"The location of Genesis 10 is another economic development success bred through the strong partnership between ECG and the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD)," said Walt Farrell, ECG Project Manager. "This project is a great example of ECG's strategy and commitment to statewide economic development." 
Farrell worked with statewide project manager Glen Whitley with the GDEcD on the Genesis 10 project.  

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