Georgia

Constellium Selects Bartow County, GA For New Manufacturing Facility

Constellium N. V. has announced the selection of Bartow County, GA as the location for a new manufacturing facility to support growing demand for its automotive structures in North America.

Constellium

Photo – Constellium.com

Constellium itself will invest $20 million into the $32 million project, with the remaining $12 million coming from developer Seefried Properties.

This will be a 84,000-square-foot greenfield facility, and will provide the company with the option of expanding further in future up to 220,000 square feet, if required.

Construction will begin early next year, and the company estimates that they will create approximately 150 high-tech manufacturing jobs at this location by 2019.

This new facility adds to the company’s recent spate of North American projects, including a joint venture facility with UACJ located in Bowling Green, KY that is due to start production next year.

Earlier this year, Constellium completed the acquisition of Wise Metals located in Muscle Shoals, AL. Constellium has announced plans to invest up to $750 million in this Muscle Shoals plant by 2022 in order to significantly accelerate its development in the North American Body-in-White (BiW) market.

Paul Warton, president of Constellium’s Automotive Structures and Industry business unit, said in a release that the new Georgia plant demonstrates their commitment to work in partnership with automakers in North America and to be near their assembly plants.

Eric Krepps, vice president and general manager of Constellium Automotive Structures North America, focused on the positive Georgia and Bartow County economic development aspects which had drawn them to the location.

“Georgia has a strong business climate and an advanced technical education network to provide a skilled workforce for our operations,” said Eric Krepps. “We are grateful for the warm welcome we have received from the State of Georgia, Bartow County and a number of partners to help achieve our business goals.”

Constellium is a designer and manufacturer of high value-added aluminum products and components. With a network of 23 production facilities, ten administrative and commercial sites, and a technology center, The Netherlands-based Constellium N. V. (NYSE and Euronext: CSTM) serves a global customer base operating in markets ranging from aerospace and automotive to construction, packaging, renewable energy and transportation.

The company, which last year generated $3.94 billion of revenue, already has a workforce of around 10,000 full-time employees located mainly in Europe, China and the United States.

Georgia Still No. 1 in Site Selection Top State Business Climate Rankings

For the third year in a row, Georgia has been named as the top state by Site Selection magazine in its annual top state business climate rankings.

Georgia

Georgia (photo – MPD01605/Flickr)

Georgia has been ranked among the top ten in Site Selection’s top state business climate rankings throughout the last decade, and has held on to the top spot for the third year in a row.

Site Selection Editor-in-Chief Mark Arend said in a release that Georgia is a regular top finisher in their annual analysis of state business climates, but three consecutive first-place finishes in this ranking is a pattern. “It says the state clearly has in place the business-attraction attributes most required by companies expanding and establishing new facilities,” said Arend.

Governor Nathan Deal said in the release that “This ranking is not only a testament to our strong business climate, but it also speaks to the commitment and support from our industry partners, communities and the people of Georgia.”

North Carolina, which placed second in this year’s ranking, is the only state that has a better record, winning the top ranking four years in a row before Georgia took over. Kentucky in third place, followed by Louisiana and Texas, rounded out the top five states in this year’s rankings.

Half of the score for the rankings comes from a survey of corporate site selectors who are asked to rank their top ten state business climates based on their recent experience of locating facilities in them. Texas finished first in the survey, with Georgia, North Carolina and Florida tied for second place. South Carolina rounded out the top five states mentioned by site selectors.

The other 50 percent of the score in the rankings is based on an index that factors in actual new projects year-to-date, both overall and per capita; state tax burdens on new and established companies; and performance in Site Selection’s annual Top Competitive States ranking.

The projects taken into consideration are private-sector projects limited to those who meet at least one of these criteria – investments of $1 million or more, 20 or more new jobs, or 20,000 or more square feet of new construction.

For Louisiana, this is the sixth consecutive top ten ranking in Site Selection’s state business climate rankings. Louisiana’s steady rise in these rankings is all that much more impressive considering that the state was ranked at No. 25 just before it broke into the top ten six years ago.

Louisiana economic development wins since 2008 are resulting in more than 91,000 new jobs and more than $62 billion in new capital investment. Governor Bobby Jindal said in a release that “Economic development has been a top priority for this administration, and recognition such as this from a respected source like Site Selection magazine is a welcome validation of our efforts.”

See the full top state business climate rankings at Siteselection.com.

Atlanta Considers $15M Economic Development Incentives For Technology Square Project

At its next meeting, the Invest Atlanta Board of Directors will consider a resolution to approve, in principle, the purchase, financing and renting of a proposed Georgia Tech facility in the Technology Square development.

Atlanta Technology Square project

Photo – investatlana.com

Supported by Atlanta economic development tax incentives, Georgia Tech will take up space as the anchor tenant in the $350 million, 25-story mixed-use project located near the Scheller College of Business and the Georgia Tech Hotel in Midtown Atlanta.

Georgia Tech will occupy approximately 300,000 square feet of the office tower and 40,000 square feet of the data center facility in the proposed 1,006,000-gross-square-feet project.

Georgia Tech and the project’s developer Portman Holdings are hoping to fill the remaining space with corporate entities and Georgia Tech research partners. The Institute plans to locate rotating “research neighborhoods” in varying academic fields that will benefit from the use of advanced big data analytics.

Among other things, the high performance computing center will serve institutional academic research needs, high performance data and network applications by computing and communication services firms, and genetic modeling by biotech and medical firms.

The economic development benefits include strengthening Atlanta and Technology Square’s role as a global leader in promoting technology-based commerce, serving to foster collaboration between private industry and interdisciplinary research. When completed, this development is expected to strengthen Atlanta’s growing position as an East Coast tech hub, similar to that of Kendall Square in Boston.

Specifically, an IMPLAN economic impact analysis of the project lists benefits that include $350 million in capital investment in a targeted sector, along with the creation of 2,400 estimated jobs located on the premises. Another 2,100 construction jobs will be created during the 26-month construction period. The project also includes more than 46,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

The estimated direct employee annual compensation from the project is pegged at $226,478,000. The aggregate direct, indirect and induced tax and fee revenue over 20 years is estimated to be at approximately $449,998,000.

In order to support this project, Invest Atlanta will consider a tax structure under which PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) payments will flow to the taxing jurisdictions in exactly the same way that ad valorem taxes currently flow. The tax structure will begin with an 85 percent incentive in the first year, continuing for 15 years. The resulting estimated tax incentive for the project over this period is $15 million, out of estimated taxes totaling $17 million.

Macon Economic Development Lands Boeing 747 Fuselage Panel Project

Boeing has announced that, starting in 2018, it will build 747 fuselage panels at an existing defense-related facility in the Airport Industrial Park in Macon-Bibb County, GA.

Macon EDC

Photo – maconworks.com

The Macon site, which Boeing will be taking over from Triumph Aerostructures’ Vought Aircraft Division, will provide assembled fuselage panels to Boeing’s 747 final assembly line in Everett, WA.

Supported by the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), the Macon Economic Development Commission, and the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority, Boeing will invest $81.7 million into this project, and expects to create up to 200 new jobs.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said in a release that “Boeing’s choice to manufacture these vital pieces of equipment at their Macon-Bibb County facility is further indication that Georgia is home to a highly-skilled workforce and a world-class infrastructure.”

Macon will become the twelfth manufacturing site for the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Fabrication unit. Boeing and Triumph Aerostructures have been working together for many months to ensure a smooth transition of this 220,000-square-foot facility from defense work into the 747 supply chain.

Improvements being made at the facility include building and existing equipment upgrades, and the installation of new equipment. A new advanced manufacturing production system will reduce the time to produce fuselage panels while also increasing quality and enhancing employee safety.

Boeing’s investment into the facility is good news for Macon-Bibb and Middle Georgia not just because of the new jobs being created, but also because of how it positions the plant to secure more work related to Boeing commercial airplanes, and strengthens the region’s aerospace manufacturing and maintenance industry.

Kent Fisher, vice president and general manager of Supplier Management, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in the release that “While our initial focus is on production of fuselage panels for the 747, the Macon facility provides us a high-quality alternative for structures work currently outsourced to other suppliers. It’s also an attractive option for developing new airplanes.”

Macon-Bibb Mayor Robert A. B. Reichert said he wants to thank the Governor’s Office, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and the Macon Economic Development Commission for their partnership with the Industrial Authority to make this happen.

Macon Economic Development Commission Chairman Leonard Bevill said they are pleased to see the 25 plus year relationship between The Boeing Company and Macon-Bibb and Middle Georgia continue.

Macon Bibb County Industrial Board Chairman Cliffard Whitby added that the Industrial Authority is honored to spearhead local efforts in support of Boeing’s repurposing of the existing Macon-Bibb County facility.

GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr said in the release that this exciting new commercial opportunity at Boeing’s Macon-Bibb County facility is the result of progressive and persistent teamwork between the public and private sector.

US EDA Grant to Lavonia, GA Supports German Automotive Supplier’s Manufacturing Project

The U.S. Economic Development Administration announced a $694,864 grant to the City of Lavonia, GA to support a sewer project the City is undertaking to facilitate the location of a new manufacturing facility by a German automotive supplier.

Hart County, GA

Hart County, GA (photo – Ken Lund/Flickr)

Last year, Bubsheim, Germany-based Haring, a global automotive supplier who manufactures precision components and subassemblies, announced the selection of a site in Hart County’s Gateway II Industrial Park for a 196,000-foot manufacturing facility, a training center and dining hall.

Haring is making a capital investment of $54 million into the project, and expects to create 800 new jobs at the new facility by 2025.

At this new facility, the company plans to manufacture fuel injection parts and other precision components for the automotive industry. This will be Haring’s first manufacturing facility in the United States, adding to their 2,800 existing employees across three production locations in Germany, Poland and China.

At that time, Haring Managing Director Andreas Lehnhofer had said that during the site selection process, it became very clear that Georgia was the best choice for them to locate their first U.S. facility. The aerospace, defense and advanced manufacturing team of the Georgia Department of Economic Development worked with the Hart County Industrial Building Authority and the Georgia Electric Membership Corp to secure this project.

However, the existing sewer line from the Gateway Industrial Park to the city’s wastewater treatment plant was already working at a high capacity and would not have been able to handle the additional requirements of the large new manufacturing facility.

EDA’s investment supports a $1.4 million sewer project the City has undertaken to build a new sewer line from the Gateway Industrial Park to the wastewater treatment plant. The sewer line will fulfill the Haring facility’s needs and future growth plans, and will be helpful in attracting more projects to the Gateway Industrial Park.

According to grantee estimates provided to the EDA, this project will support the creation of 400 manufacturing jobs and generate $54 million in foreign-direct investment. The EDA also says that according to the grantee, the sewer project will also open up several hundred additional acres for future development.

In a release announcing the EDA grant, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams said that the EDA investment will enable the Lavonia community to attract a foreign manufacturer and explore additional development opportunities in the future.

Georgia Top State For Doing Business in AD Site Selection Consultants Survey

Area Development magazine has published their sixth annual Top States for Doing Business survey of site consultants, and Georgia is once again the top state for doing business.

Top 10

Top 10 (photo – sam_churchill/flickr)

The state rankings are based on the results of the annual survey in which site selection consultants name their top states for 21 different factors across three broad categories – business environment, labor climate, and infrastructure and global access.

Georgia was the overall best state and topped the labor climate category as well, while also securing a third place ranking in the business environment category, and a second place ranking in the infrastructure and global access category.

Texas and South Carolina followed Georgia in the second and third place respectively, with Tennessee in fourth place, and Alabama and Florida tied for the fifth place in the AD rankings. Indiana, North Carolina, Louisiana, Ohio and Kentucky rounded out the top 10 states for doing business.

For Alabama, this is the sixth consecutive year that the state has been placed in the top five in these AD rankings based on site selection consultants’ feedback.

Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said in a release that the fact that Alabama is consistently getting high marks from site selection consultants indicates that the state is viewed as a prime location for expansion opportunities.

“The results reflect the strength of Alabama’s skilled workforce and our training programs, as well as a favorable business environment that companies from around the world are seeking,” added Sec. Canfield.

Louisiana likewise earned its fifth consecutive top 10 ranking in the AD rankings. Area Development editors lauded Louisiana’s workforce development program LED FastStart as a key element in the state’s successful business environment.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said in a release that this recognition by Area Development magazine reinforces what business and industry leaders have long known. “Our success since 2008 has paid off in quality jobs for Louisiana residents like never before, and more of our citizens are able to build rewarding careers without having to leave our great state,” added Gov. Jindal.

Since 2008, Louisiana Economic Development (LED) has secured economic development projects that are creating more than 91,000 new jobs and more than $62 billion in new capital investment, along with hundreds of millions of dollars in new sales for small businesses throughout the state.

US Economic Development Administration Grant to Support Murray County, GA Flooring Cluster

The U.S. Economic Development Administration has awarded an $816,637 grant to Murray County, GA to support the region’s flooring industry, which is a major cluster for northwest Georgia.

Video – Engineered Floors

The EDA investment will help fund the construction of wastewater infrastructure to connect a large flooring manufacturer to the existing sewer collection system in the City of Chatsworth, GA.

According to grantee estimates provided to the EDA, this Murray County economic development project will create 600 jobs and generate $100 million in private investment.

The wastewater infrastructure investment to support this project will also allow the system to be expanded to serve future demand. Moreover, the company benefiting from the project employs a process that uses less energy, oil, and water, and this is expected to bolster conservation in the region.

In a release announcing the Murray County grant, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams said that “Infrastructure provides critical support that enables businesses to operate, grow, and create jobs.” Assistant Secretary Williams added that this EDA investment provides vital upgrades to a local business that is integral to the regional cluster and economy.

The part of northwest Georgia between Calhoun, GA and Chattanooga, TN is the traditional home of the carpet industry. Carpet companies operating in Georgia supply over 90 percent of the U.S. carpet market, and 54 percent of U.S. carpet exports.

Engineered Floors, LLC, founded by Robert E. Shaw in 2009, is one of the driving forces behind the resurgence of the carpet industry in this region. Governor Nathan Deal and the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) had announced a couple of years ago that the Dalton, GA- based carpet maker will invest $450 million to construct new manufacturing facilities in Whitfield and Murray counties.

At that time, Brittany D. Pittman, sole commissioner of Murray County, said in a release that the company’s decision to continue to invest in Murray County is the result of ongoing relationships and much-appreciated assistance and cooperation from several community leaders and the Murray County Industrial Development Authority.

Engineered Floors is now in the final stages of its site selection process for the Murray County facility. The company has already completed the construction on its second manufacturing plant in Dalton. It now has two plants in Dalton and one in Calhoun, adding up to a total manufacturing capacity of 2.25 million square feet.

Northwest Georgia, where Engineered Floors has around 2,000 employees, is also home to the company’s corporate headquarters, distribution center and a tufting operation.

RiverEdge Summit Location Secures Lincoln Financial Group Expansion for Atlanta

Lincoln Financial Group has announced plans for an expansion of its Group Protection business and presence in the Atlanta area.

Lincoln Financial Group

Lincoln Financial Group (photo – lfg.com)

As part of this expansion, Lincoln will lease new space at the RiverEdge Summit complex in Sandy Springs, GA.

Lincoln already has approximately 200 employees in Atlanta that are a part of the more than 2,000 employees of the Lincoln Group Protection business.

These 200 employees will relocate to the new office space at RiverEdge Summit, and the company expects to significantly grow the number of jobs in Atlanta over the next three to five years.

Dick Mucci, President of Lincoln’s Group Protection business, said in a release announcing the expansion that the new location is convenient for existing staff, and added that they believe it will be very attractive to potential candidates they hope to recruit to increase their presence in the Atlanta area.

Mucci added that they will enjoy leveraging the diverse Atlanta talent pool, and also noted that the location will serve to enhance their business resiliency.

The company says that the new Atlanta location for their Group Protection business will ultimately be developed into a robust complement to the business’ existing site in Omaha, NE.

Unlike most site selection projects, the RiverEdge Summit space is actually a bigger win for the Lincoln Group than is usually the case. The Class A complex is heavily in demand, with other businesses such as United Healthcare looking to lease the same large space.

RiverEdge Summit is located atop a heavily-wooded bluff on the banks of the Chattahoochee River with a spectacular view of the Atlanta skyline, and is among the upscale office environments driving Northwest Atlanta economic development including major corporate headquarters relocations such as the Graphic Packaging International, Inc. (GPI) consolidation.

The complex, which has recently undergone a recent million-dollar renovation, offers state-of-the-art building systems and infrastructure, along with a comprehensive array of on-site amenities and services such as a full-service cafe, an onsite health club and heated outdoor patio.

The location is just minutes away from the commercial core around nearby Cumberland Mall and the Galleria area, and offers easy access to I-285, I-75 and MARTA.

Lincoln expects the new facility at this location to be open by spring next year, and will be posting details about the new jobs over the next few months.

Radnor, PA-based Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC). More than 17 million customers trust their retirement, insurance and wealth protection expertise to help address lifestyle, savings and income goals, as well as to guard against long-term care expenses. As of June 30, Lincoln had $223 billion in assets under management.

Kodak Brings Manufacturing of Environment-friendly SONORA Printing Plates to Columbus, GA

Kodak has opened a new manufacturing line at its Columbus, GA facility for producing its KODAK SONORA Process Free Plates.

Kodak Columbus, GA facility

Kodak Columbus, GA facility (press photo – kodak.com)

As part of the expansion, Eastman Kodak will create 240 jobs and invest $28 million at the Columbus facility to meet increased demands for its SONORA printing plates.

This is the first time that Kodak is manufacturing these plates in the United States, and the Columbus facility will be the only Kodak plant making SONORA plates for customers in the Americas.

The project is not only good news for Columbus economic development, but will also help accelerate the increase in sustainability of the printing industry.

The SONORA Process Free Plates entirely eliminate the costs of buying and using processing equipment, and the water, chemical and electricity use required by processed plates. Printers also save on the costs of processing equipment downtime, maintenance, parts and other such ongoing expenses. Not to mention the space saved by getting rid of the processing equipment, and providing a safer and cleaner work environment for employees.

All of this saves Kodak customers money, makes them more competitive and reduces their environmental impact. Newspaper printers, for example, can get to press more quickly by eliminating the processing step and the associated costs and variability. SONORA plates can save up to $99,000 in annual costs for the average printer using 20,000 square meters of plates. More than 2,700 printers around the world are already using these environment-friendly printing plates.

Eastman Kodak Company CEO Jeff Clarke attended the opening of this new manufacturing line with a ribbon cutting ceremony in Columbus. In a release announcing the opening, Clarke said that “We are excited to build on our more than 20-year history in the great city of Columbus and are looking forward to working with the local community to help meet the growing demand for SONORA Process Free Plates.”

Clarke added that Kodak is committed to providing solutions that increase the sustainability of the printing industry, while also reducing printing costs. This, he said, is good business and good for the environment.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said in the release that Kodak’s decision to expand existing facilities in the state speaks to the strength and vitality of Georgia’s business climate and labor force.

Rochester, NY-based Eastman Kodak Co. (NYSE:KODK) is a technology company focused on imaging, best known for its historic role in photography and photographic film products. The company now has 7,250 employees across seven business divisions, including the Print Systems Division, which is Kodak’s largest division and makes plates such as SONORA.

Atlanta Economic Development Mid-Year Scorecard – 28 Projects Creating 6320 Jobs

Mayor Kasim Reed and Atlanta economic development agency Invest Atlanta announced in their mid-year economic and community development update that the agency has already surpassed its job creation goals for the entire year.

From Jan-June, Invest Atlanta and the City of Atlanta secured 28 business expansion and relocation projects which are together creating a combined total of 6,320 jobs. The agency’s job creation goal for the whole year was 6,100.

Atlanta economic development scorecard

Atlanta economic development scorecard (source – investatlanta.com)

Some of the major projects secured by Atlanta during this period include investments and job creation by Kaiser Permanente, NCR, Sage and Worldpay. The total economic impact of the 28 business expansion and relocation projects which the City and Invest Atlanta worked on is estimated to exceed $2.275 billion.

If you factor in the 19 community development projects closed in this period, that makes it 47 projects that are generating a total of $484 million in private capital investment and creating 6,665 new jobs.

In a release providing the mid-year update, Mayor Reed said that Atlanta’s business climate is in the best shape it has been in since the Great Recession. The Mayor added that by recruiting new business headquarters and corporate expansions, they will ensure that Atlanta remains the dominant economy of the Southeast.

Invest Atlanta President and CEO Craig Richard added that key to this success is that companies seeking to make solid business decisions that positively impact growth have chosen Atlanta.

Richard noted that for every $1 Invest Atlanta disburses in order to catalyze growth, they have returned nearly $13 in private, capital investment made by companies that are creating jobs in the city. The city’s tax revenue from capital investment was $10 for every $1 allocated by the City to Invest Atlanta.

Community development projects have also been on a roll, with four times the number of projects this year as compared to the same period last year. As of June, there were 19 community development projects closed this year supported by $38 million in investment from Invest Atlanta and $110 million in private capital. By comparison, there were five projects last year at this point with $10 million in investment from Invest Atlanta.

Invest Atlanta’s federally-funded New Market Tax Credits program began the year with a $50 million allocation. By June, the agency had committed $23.2 million of its NMTC tax credit allocation to encourage and leverage additional private investments in developments that contribute towards the revitalization of distressed neighborhoods.

One of these projects was the renovation of the historic Flatiron Building. A $11.2 million allocation is supporting the project and will enable the Flatiron Building to become a hub for entrepreneurship. Another NMTC allocation to Grady Hospital, combined with $66 million in philanthropic contributions, is helping finance the hospital’s expansion of its emergency department.

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