It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a spring this busy – and this rewarding – at the Department! We’ve celebrated two of our biggest project announcements in years: Caterpillar (Athens-Clarke & Oconee counties, 1400 jobs), and Baxter (Morgan, Newton, Jasper and Walton counties, 1500 jobs). These are outstanding companies who embarked on global searches and could have gone anywhere, so we are very proud that they have selected Georgia’s business environment as the best one to grow their business! Other companies that have announced locations or expansions here in the past few months include Starbucks (Augusta), Carter’s (Braselton), Dinex Group (Dublin), CHEP USA (Atlanta), PyraMax Ceramics (Wrens) and Ritz Instruments (Hartwell). All told, within a two-month period we’ve announced the creation of more than 3,800 jobs and more than $1.5 billion invested in Georgia.
Thanks to some significant legislation passed during this year’s session, Georgia’s business environment has become even more attractive to companies. Some of the recommendations that rose to the surface during the Georgia Competitiveness Initiative process became law: a tax exemption on energy used by manufacturers, opening up state pension funds to alternative investments, and upping the numbers on our deal-closing funds. We have a Governor who has a deep understanding of economic development, and I am grateful to him and to our legislators for taking these bold steps to create an exceedingly conducive climate for job creation. Make no mistake about it, we’ll see many more jobs created in Georgia thanks to their hard work this spring.