In The News

Mohawk 2016 Forbes America’s Best Employer

Mohawk WorkerForbes recognized Mohawk, the world’s largest flooring manufacturer, last week as one of America’s Best Employers. Ranked 188 out of all American companies employing at least 1000 people, Mohawk is the highest ranked flooring manufacturer and 8th company in the “engineering/manufacturing” category.

“At Mohawk, we are proud to have the industry’s best people because they are the foundation of our success,” Mohawk CEO Jeff Lorberbaum said. “Their commitment to innovation, quality, value and service distinguishes us as our industry’s preferred provider.”

The Forbes ranking of America’s Best Employers is drawn from an online survey of more than 30,000 employees. Participation in the survey was voluntary and respondents were recruited from thousands of sources to maximize reach and representation.

“A central part of our culture is maintaining a safe, fair and respectful workplace. We offer leading-edge learning and wellness programs to help our people grow professionally and lead healthier lives,” Lorberbaum said. “Although Mohawk is a global organization, our workplaces reflect the values of the small communities where our business began. Those values fuel our culture, customer relationships and sustained growth.”

As a publicly traded, Fortune 500 company, Mohawk provides a holistic value proposition to all employees. On-site health care clinics and healthy life coaches are offered to employees and their families at little or no cost. The company’s commitment to wellness extends to comprehensive medical and financial benefits and world-class safety standards, as well. Mohawk promotes opportunities for advancement through award-winning training and development initiatives and a nationally recognized apprenticeship program. Industry-leading sustainability practices and long-term community partnerships further reinforce the company’s commitment to thousands of employees across the United States.“During the past decade, we have harnessed the talent and commitment of our people to drive improvements in safety, wellness, training, sustainable practices and process improvement,” Mohawk Senior Vice President of Human Resources Phil Brown said. “Our goal is to have the safest and healthiest workforce in American industry, and I am proud that our people have embraced the resources we are providing to help them achieve that goal.”

To view the entire 2016 Forbes list of America’s Best Employers, visit http://www.forbes.com/best-employers/.

Spec Building Sold for 850K

Spec Building Sold ImageThe Development Authority of the City of Milledgeville and Baldwin County have sold spec building to the firm Strapack, Inc. for $850,000. The spec building is located on highway 22 in the Industrial Park. Built in 2007, the building is 62,500 sq.ft. and sits on 15 acres.

The real estate deal was finalized December 28, 2015, closing out the year on a positive note and as one of two projects realized in the 4th quarter of 2015. The unanimous vote by the Development Authority’s Board of Directors allows for immediate work by Strapack to prepare for operations to begin early in 2016. Strapack, Inc. will invest between $4 and $6 million in the purchase price and planned build-out development of the building.

Initially, Strapack, Inc. will employ 10 people and company officials have indicated plans for future expansion with additional job positions to be created. No tax abatement was given as part of the contract, so sale of the property will be an immediate benefit on the tax digest.

Triumph Aerostructures: Large Manufacturer of the Year

Triumph-2015-Lg-Mfgr-of-Year-Award-24Triumph Aerostructures—Vought Aircraft Division, based in Milledgeville, was named the 2015 Georgia Large Manufacturer of the Year at the annual Manufacturer’s Appreciation Week Governor’s Awards Luncheon in Atlanta. This event, co-hosted by the Technical College System of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Economic Development, recognizes top manufacturers across the state based on economic impact, corporate responsibility, and workforce excellence. Triumph was nominated for this award by Central Georgia Technical College.

Fechner remarked in front of a crowd of Georgia manufacturers and state officials gathered at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta for the Governor’s Awards Luncheon, “On behalf of 13,000 Triumph employees across the United States and the world at 67 locations, and especially the 715 employees in Milledgeville, thank you for this honor,” said Merlin Fechner, president of Triumph Aerostructures—Vought Aircraft Division. “We truly consider it an honor and a privilege to accept this prestigious award. We have some of the best employees and it’s demonstrated every day in everything we do. This award truly belongs to them.”

In their over 40 years of operation in Milledgeville, Triumph has added over $5.2 billion to the local economy, averaging a $148.3 million economic impact annually. Even during the most recent economic downturn among soaring unemployment, Triumph was able to add over 375 jobs.

Triumph believes in being a good corporate citizen and have demonstrated their commitment by donating time and resources to the local community, including sponsorship of various Chamber and Development Authority events and by volunteering many hours with local non-profit organizations such as United Way, Relay for Life, Special Olympics, the American Red Cross, and the Chard Wray Food Pantry.

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Milledgeville Ranked Nationally as a Top Micropolitan

In a recent release published by Site Magazine, Milledgeville-Baldwin County made the list of nationally ranked Top Micropolitans of 2014, determined by number of new and expanded corporate facility projects, ranked 74 out of 576 micropolitans in the nation.

“We are committed to the expansion of local business and industry and are proud of the two expansions that occurred in 2014,” says Matt Poyner, executive director of the Development Authority of the City of Milledgeville and Baldwin County (DAMBC). “Our approach to economic development is twofold. We facilitate the success, growth, and retention of local companies by providing services, solutions, and support to meet their needs. Additionally, we focus on recruiting new business and industry which creates local jobs and expands our local economic base.”

The Development Authority of the City of Milledgeville & Baldwin County (DAMBC), jointly funded by both the City and County, is tasked with recruiting new companies as well as working with the existing businesses in the community to grow primary jobs and investment.

Development Authority Website Traffic on the Rise

MILLEDGEVILLE — By the time an industrial site consultant reaches Milledgeville, the community has already survived an in-depth vetting process. Matt Poyner, executive director of The Development Authority of the City of Milledgeville and Baldwin County (DAMBC), has named Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Texas as some of the top states looking at Baldwin County. “That’s where the majority of these major site consultants work,” he said. “It lends me to think we are doing something right because our activity has increased from some of these major U.S. firms, as well as international locations.”

Locally-based Goebel Media Group started web development upgrades in summer 2012 shortly after Poyner became the executive director. According to Poyner, “It took four or five months to get it up and running and the site is top-notch.” Recent review of the site by a marketing representative evaluated it as standing tall among similar sites. “It is important to know that industry professionals identify our site as providing current, relevant data to site visitors,” he said.

For prospective companies utilizing online resources, the Internet can be a discouraging or advantageous primary investigative tool. The DAMBC puts considerable time and effort into the website as a tool to showcase the attributes of Milledgeville to business and industry. Web analytics from developmilledgeville.com show a 62 percent page view increase over first quarter 2013 numbers. The DAMBC can use web analytic information to tailor recruiting for specific national and international firms.

The development authority’s project load has increased dramatically. The state economic development connections are taking notice of Milledgeville’s potential, sending target manufacturing, aerospace, logistics, shared services and high water user companies to the community by way a Request for Information (RFI). Executive Director Poyner also points out, “By the time we are notified of a project, our community has been vetted multiple times through a process matching sites to project specifications. When we get an RFI, we’re one of the final candidates remaining of about 100 communities, or more, initially considered. That’s why it is important to have a good site with relevant information that encourages increased traffic and length of time on our site. I’m proud of where we are.”

Milledgeville-Baldwin County served as a host community March 18 for the annual International VIP tour coordinated by the Georgia Department of Economic Development. This was the first time in 29 years that Milledgeville made the tour. The hospitality and energetic community blew away 33 consulates representing countries in Europe, Asia, Canada, Africa and Mexico. “People getting their feet in Milledgeville is what we need,” Poyner said. “That’s starting to take off for us and we are in the conversation.” Recent Business Retention and Expansion Program (BREP) surveys showed current industries planned expansions and felt positive about Baldwin County operations. “It’s comprehensive service from start to finish. We want to provide the tools and support businesses need to grow and achieve success.” Poyner said.

Poyner urges the community to stay tuned for an upcoming uniquely innovative website upgrade.