Making Headlines in Economic Development

 

Amazon to Create 1,000 Jobs at New Fulfillment Center in Jefferson

(June 1, 2017, Jackson County, Georgia) Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced plans for a new fulfillment center in Jefferson, Georgia. When opened, Amazon will create 1,000 new full-time jobs at the facility. The company currently has more than 1,500 full-time employees at its existing facilities in the state.

“Georgia has been a great place to do business for Amazon and we look forward to adding a new fulfillment center to better serve our customers in the region,” said Akash Chauhan, Amazon’s Vice President of North American operations. “Our new fulfillment center in Jefferson will create 1,000 full-time jobs with competitive pay and great benefits starting on day one of employment.”

Amazon employees at the more than 850,000 square-foot fulfillment center will pick, pack and ship large items for customers like household furniture, sporting equipment and gardening tools, to name a few.

“It’s a great day in Georgia when one of the world’s top global brands announces they will be creating 1,000 jobs in Jackson County,” said Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. “Not only is this fulfillment center important to the community and its citizens, but is a testament to our seamless logistics infrastructure which is so critically important to companies like Amazon.”

Full-time employees at Amazon receive highly-competitive pay, health insurance, disability insurance, retirement savings plans and company stock. The company also offers up to 20 weeks of paid leave and innovative benefits such as Leave Share and Ramp Back, which give new parents flexibility with their growing families.

“The City of Jefferson welcomes Amazon to the wonderful family of companies doing business in Jefferson and Jackson County,” said Jefferson Mayor Roy Plott. “We feel extremely fortunate for the investment and jobs that Amazon brings to our community. Amazon is a leading edge technology company and internet retailer who is a great corporate citizen in the communities they locate.”

Amazon also offers hourly employees its Career Choice program which helps train employees for in-demand jobs at Amazon and other companies so that they can prepare for the future and take full advantage of the nation's innovation economy. The program pre-pays 95% of tuition for courses in high-demand, high-wage fields, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a future career at Amazon. Over 9,000 employees have participated in Career Choice and more are signing up every day.

“Amazon’s second investment in Jackson County in less than a year speaks to the quality of our workforce and to our strategic location on the I-85 corridor,” said Jim Shaw, president of the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce. “We expect Amazon, one of the world’s most successful companies, to be a great corporate citizen in Jefferson and we look forward to building a successful community partnership.”


Samil Spinning Co., Ltd purchases Buhler Quality Yarns Corp.

(March 27, 2017, Jackson County, GA):  Switzerland-based Hermann Bühler AG, has successfully completed the sale of its US subsidiary Buhler Quality Yarns Corp. to South Korean Samil Spinning Co., Ltd. The transaction was structured as a 100% all-cash share-deal. Closing of the transaction is expected to take place at the end of April 2017. Both companies have agreed not to disclose details of the transaction.

For Samil Spinning Co., Buhler Quality Yarns Corp. is a highly valuable strategic addition to broaden its global footprint, further establish its business in the US market and increase their client portfolio characterized by well-known companies in North and Central American markets.  It is Samil’s intention to build on Buhler Quality Yarns’ full product portfolio through targeted investments at Buhler’s manufacturing facility.  Samil will retain the entire 155 member current staff at Buhler and plans to invest an additional $22 million at the Jefferson, GA, facility over the next 5 years.

As one of the main players in the North American yarn market and with a well-established international distribution network, Buhler Quality Yarns will provide Samil Spinning a Western Hemisphere manufacturing base through its spinning facility in Jefferson, Georgia.

“Samil Spinning Co., Ltd’s investment in Georgia demonstrates that we offer the best resources for businesses across the globe to prosper in our state,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “This is an incredible example of Georgia’s leadership in the global marketplace, and I look forward to the company’s continued success.”

“The City of Jefferson has appreciated the positive impact made on our community by Buhler and its staff.  We look  forward to working with Samil Spinning in the same way and wish it every success,” said City of Jefferson Mayor Roy Plott.


FedEx Confirms to Open in Braselton

(February 8, 2017, Jackson County, Georgia) FedEx has confirmed its plans to locate a new facility in Braselton.

The parcel service plans to construct a new distribution center at 550 Braselton Parkway (near Carter’s Distribution Center).

The FedEx Ground site, which is set for an August 2018 completion, will be cover 367,000 sq.ft. A building permit estimates the project will cost $24 million.

According to FedEx, the new facility will “complement existing stations in Atlanta, Athens, Norcross and Marietta.”

It’s unclear how many jobs will be created by the move.

“Exact staffing needs have yet to be determined, but the facility will employ a mix of full and part-time employees,” said Allie Addoms, a FedEx Ground public relations representative. “We will add to the workforce as necessary to support increased demand for service in the area.”

The location was strategic for FedEx Ground given its close proximity to Interstate 85 and nearby distribution centers.

“The site was chosen because of its ease of access to major highways, proximity to customers’ distribution centers and a strong local community workforce for recruiting employees,” said Addoms.

Braselton has become a warehouse hub over the past couple of decades. Distribution centers, including the recently opened Amazon, have popped up along the town’s two exits on I-85.

Addoms said the Braselton distribution center “is part of a nationwide expansion” for FedEx Ground. The growth has sped up deliveries by at least a day in over two-thirds of the country, according to Addoms.

“The new facility is part of a nationwide network expansion to boost daily package volume capacity and further enhance the speed and service capabilities of the FedEx Ground network,” said Addoms. “Last fiscal year the company invested $1.6 billion in network expansion projects, and since 2005 has opened 15 new hubs featuring advanced material-handling systems and expanded or relocated more than 500 local facilities.”


Kubota Begins Construction on Major Expansion of its National Distribution Center in Jefferson, Georgia

(November 26, 2016, Jackson County, Georgia) Kubota Tractor Corporation announced today that it has begun construction on an important 617,865 sq. ft. expansion of its National Distribution Center (NDC) on the company’s existing property in Jefferson, Georgia, the project is adjacent to the Kubota Industrial Equipment (KIE) facility off of I-85 North. Scheduled for completion in July 2017, the expansion’s nearly $16 million investment is a direct response to Kubota’s continued growth and manufacturing demands in its compact tractor, utility vehicle and turf product markets.

The extended facility will triple the existing square footage to accommodate 956,161 sq. ft. of space that will allow the company to increase warehousing efficiencies to store and process more equipment produced by nearby Kubota Manufacturing of America (KMA) and KIE, which are both primed to increase production to meet growing consumer demand.

“This is an exciting time for Kubota as our continued growth has led us to several facility expansions in recent years – from our new manufacturing plant in nearby Gainesville to our new headquarters building in Grapevine, Texas,” said Alex Woods, vice president product resources, parts and divisional operations for Kubota Tractor Corporation. “We are diversifying our product lines and expanding our operational footprint here in Georgia to better respond to ongoing dealer and customer demand for multiple product lines here in the U.S.”

The newly expanded NDC will store and process Kubota equipment – tractors, backhoes, loaders, tires, weights, along with hay tools, utility vehicles, and turf equipment – until it’s ready for distribution to dealers around the country.

In January 2017, KMA in nearby Gainesville-Hall County will start production at its new 502,000 sq. ft. plant to increase production of Kubota’s RTV-Series utility vehicles.

Kubota has been operating in the state of Georgia for more than 40 years, with its first operations located in Norcross. In the mid-1980s, Kubota purchased its first office building in the state at the current Kubota Tractor Corporation Southeast Division headquarters in Suwanee and has since expanded operations in both Gainesville and Jefferson. Kubota Tractor Corporation, KMA and KIE are U.S. subsidiaries of Kubota Corporation, based in Osaka, Japan.

 

Hubbell Incorporated to create 100 new jobs in Jackson County

(July 1, 2016, Jackson County, Georgia) The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) today announced that Hubbell Incorporated, an international manufacturer of quality electrical and electronic products for a broad range of non-residential and residential construction, industrial and utility applications, will create 100 new jobs in Jackson County.

“Hubbell Incorporated’s decision to open a new facility in Jackson County is a great win for the region,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “They will be able to tap into a talented workforce and business-friendly environment that will help them better serve a growing customer base. We will continue to work with our economic development partners in Jackson County to support the company in the future.”

Hubbell Incorporated was conceived by Harvey Hubbell in 1888. Today, Hubbell’s four groups – Hubbell Commercial / Industrial (HCI), Hubbell Lighting (HLI), Hubbell Construction / Energy (HCE) and Hubbell Power Systems (HPS) – offer a unique set of brands and products.

“We are excited to open this new facility in Jefferson, Georgia,” said Kevin Poyck, President of Hubbell Lighting. “The building and the location are a great strategic fit for our company.”

Since the company’s inception, Hubbell has evolved from a family owned business to a global player with 2015 revenues of $3.4 billion. Hubbell now offers a portfolio of more than 70 well known and respected brands, supported by an international workforce of more than 16,000 employees and agents.

“We’re delighted Hubbell Incorporated has chosen Jackson County to locate this important new facility,” said Jackson County Commission Chairman Tom Crow. “We welcome Hubbell to this great community and look forward to a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership.”

“The City of Jefferson is excited to be selected as the location for the new Hubbell Incorporated Warehouse and Distribution Facility in the Jefferson Distribution Industrial Park. This will add to the diversity of companies doing business in the Jefferson Area and the 100 new jobs are always welcome”, said Mayor Plott.

GDEcD Director of Automotive, Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing, Mike Grundmann represented the Global Commerce Division in partnership with the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.

 

Deutz Corporation relocates to Pendergrass, Georgia

(June 23, 2016, Jackson County, Georgia) Deutz Corporation recently relocated its Value Add production operation from Norcross to a facility with a larger, 60,000-square-foot production area in Pendergrass, Georgia.

The company’s production operation uses base engines delivered from Germany and provides modification adjustments according to each OEM customer’s specific requirements.

According to company officials, “as a result, DEUTZ has been able to increase the number of Value Add production lines from one to three. While the company already manufactures thousands of engines annually through its Value Add operation, the expansion will allow DEUTZ to increase production and serve even more OEM partners.”

“Our Value Add lines allow us to provide customers with a high-value, customized engine solution,” said Jim Smith, Director of Production Operations at DEUTZ Corporation. “Moving our Value Add production lines to our new North Georgia location both increases our capacity and streamlines the overall production process.”

“We purchase a significant amount of components and parts each year,” said Robert Mann, President/CEO of DEUTZ Corporation. “By relocating our operation to Pendergrass, we’re now able to offer additional expertise and cost savings to an even greater number of our OEM partners. And, because we’re able to manage many of the complex manufacturing aspects, our customers can focus all their attention on their own products, rather than on the engine manufacturing and installation process.”

“To make the process more efficient, we’ve introduced a number of important ‘lean manufacturing,’ waste-reducing concepts to help to take the operation from a batch-build operation to a one-piece-flow operation,” Smith added. “Our redesigned work stations ensure that the necessary tools, materials, and documentation are close at hand. This has reduced cycle times by twenty-five percent and increased the line’s ability to run a wider variety of products.”

The Value Add line’s one-piece flow operation benefits the OEM’s assembly line, reducing the amount of labor that would otherwise be required to prepare the engine for the machine, a company spokesman said.

 

 

Amazon to create more than 500 jobs in Jackson Coutny

(June 22, 2016, Jackson County, Georgia) Gov. 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."

Amazon currently employs more than 1,500 full-time employees in Georgia and there are more than 70,000 authors, sellers and developers statewide growing their business and reaching new customers through Amazon.

“We are excited to expand in the state of Georgia and add a new fulfillment center to better serve our customers in the region,” said Akash Chauhan, vice president of Amazon’s North America operations. “This facility will create hundreds of new jobs with competitive pay and great benefits starting on day one. From the local community to state leadership, we appreciate the tremendous support from elected officials for this project and we look forward to growing in the Peach State.”

Amazon customers will be able to support nearly 28,000 charitable organizations with operations in Georgia by shopping on smile.amazon.com, where they can designate a portion of their purchase price to their favorite charities through the company’s AmazonSmile program.

“We are excited that Amazon has chosen to locate in Jackson County,” said Jackson County Commission Chairman Tom Crow. “Amazon’s investment in Jackson County is not only an investment in our workforce but will create a partnership with our community, positively impacting us for years to come.”

“Braselton is delighted to welcome Amazon to the town,” said City of Braselton Mayor Bill Orr. “We have an outstanding corporate citizenship and Amazon is a great addition and fit for our community. Our town looks forward to partnering with Amazon and its employees.”

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Logistics, Energy, Agribusiness & Food Team director Brittany Holtzclaw represented the Global Commerce division throughout this project in partnership with the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce and the Jackson County Industrial Development Authority.

“Collaborating with one of the world’s most recognizable global brands as they grow their presence in Georgia is very exciting,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “We are thrilled Amazon made the decision to locate their new fulfillment center in Jackson County, and we look forward to working with them as they continue to impact the world from their Georgia operations.”

 

Williams-Sonoma launches 1-million-square-foot Braselton warehouse.

(March 17, 2016, Jackson County, Georgia) Williams-Sonoma Inc. will occupy a 1-million-square foot distribution center in Braselton, Ga., as the company retools its supply chain to be closer to Southeast customers.

The retailer known for its Williams-Sonoma (NYSE: WSM), Pottery Barn and West Elm brands believes the move will also reduce outbound freight costs.

The Braselton distribution center, about 50 miles northeast of Atlanta, will be used for both home deliveries and for shipping products to its stores.

"We are further regionalizing our supply chain," CEO Laura Alber said in a March 16 call with analysts. "We know that being closer to our customers is the key to faster and lower cost delivery."

 

Takeuchi to build new distribution facility in Jackson County, GA.

(August 10, 2015, Jackson County, GA)  Takeuchi US announced plans today to build a new distribution facility on their existing campus in Pendergrass, Georgia. The existing building serves as the US operations of the Nagano, Japan-based company. Plans call for the distribution facility to add 40 percent more storage to the current operation, and to allow for additional employment opportunities within the company.

“We are really excited to be expanding our operations in Pendergrass, Georgia.  With the improved economy there has been an increase for machine demand,” said Clay Eubanks, President of Takeuchi US. “With this new facility we will be able to store parts and new products well into 2019.  This new building will not only allow us to continue to grow as a company, but will offer employment opportunities for our community.”

With a variety of products in the compact equipment industry, Takeuchi located its US Headquarters with training and parts distribution operations in the Valentine Farms Industrial Park in 2004. The facility currently has over 70 associates. “Takeuchi’s announcement to expand in Jackson County is great news for our community. Whenever an Established Industry chooses to expand with us it is a great endorsement of our business climate and workforce,” stated Jackson County Commission Chairman Tom Crow.

 

Site Selection Magazine names Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce as a top Economic Development Organization for Micropolitans in 2015

(May 7 2015, Jackson County, GA)  Site Selection Magazine, a leading publication for corporate site selection and economic development recently named The Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce one of the “Top Micropolitan Groups of the Year” for Economic Development in 2015. The Magazine cites for its reason for the ranking: “This years’ Top US Economic Development Groups are based on four objective project criteria: jobs, capital investment, jobs per capita and investment per capita as tracked in Conway’s proprietary New Plant Database. Additional criteria include the creativity of economic development strategy; scope of project activity; and the ability to accurately document the link between the EDO and real results”. A micropolitian area is defined as an area centered around a city (Jefferson) between 10,000 and 49,000 in population by the Office of Management and Budget. Out of 576 micropolitian areas in the US, Site Selection only named 20 economic development organizations to this list. Jackson County lead all 23 micropolitians in Georgia in total investment into a community for economic development projects and second in job creation.

Though not all of The Chamber projects were cited by the magazine due to timing and project types (Speculative Building investments and projects signed in late 2014 and announced in 2015) Jackson County growth was led by the startup of new warehouse operations by Ollie’s Bargain Outlets and DSC Logistics, combined with expansions by Deutz and Hitachi, job growth in the community was nicely balanced between new and established industries. “This is a major honor for our organization. Site Selection Magazine has an outstanding reputation in the economic development and corporate real estate community. We would like to thank our partners who help us in our mission for Jackson County’s continued growth and prosperity”, stated Chamber President/CEO/Director of Economic Development F. J. “Josh” Fenn.