Georgia’s Newest Mega Site

New Mega Site Aerial Image

The momentum of 2015 continues with BIG news and opportunity for Milledgeville-Baldwin County. The Development Authority of the City of Milledgeville & Baldwin County (DAMBC) have unveiled a project in this community many years in the making, Georgia’s newest mega-site.

The site, named the Sibley-Smith Industrial Park, is around 1,657 acres located in Baldwin County, Georgia, south of Milledgeville, and is zoned heavy industrial (HI). It is situated along US Hwy 441 bypass approximately 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) north of the US Hwy 441 business & US Hwy 441 bypass intersection. Norfolk Southern Rail and utilities are already on site.

“We are now officially home to the newest mega site in Georgia,” says DAMBC Executive Director Matt Poyner. “The dynamic collaboration of our City and County leadership, to help make this project happen, speaks to their commitment to a legacy of opportunity, job growth, and economic development in this community.”

This development by the DAMBC is a milestone to enhancing the attractiveness of Milledgeville-Baldwin County to prospective industry. In addition to rail and utilities already on the site, GRAD Certification is in process to be complete Spring 2016. Once certified, the site will have a significant marketing advantage because prospective companies know GRAD certification means extensive due diligence has been completed, and the ability exists to be up and operational in a much faster time frame.

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 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.

2013 Award of Excellence Award Recipient Photo

The City of Milledgeville Main Street received the 2013 Award of Excellence in Downtown Development Program of the Year.

Milledgeville Main Street and Downtown Development Authority Director Carlee Schulte also got her Georgia Downtown Development Professional Certification and received one of two scholarships for a trip to the 2014 National Main Street Conference in Detroit, Mich.

In addition to the Main Street achievements, Frank Pendergast, owner of The Baldwin Lofts, received the 2013 Award of Excellence Gold Medal presented by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and the Georgia Downtown Association.

Milledgeville Main Street bested 96 Georgia Main Street communities. “It’s a huge deal, and we are very excited. It shows the importance of what we do, and the impact we are having not only locally but also statewide,” Schulte said. The brand new small business BOOST grant program played a role in the program of the year designation. BOOST provides grant money to downtown small business owners and entrepreneurs.