Within the Georgia Department of Economic Development is an initiative dedicated to diversifying defense-related businesses throughout the State.
Here are five things you should know about the GUARD Initiative:
1- The GUARD Initiative seeks to support the longevity of Georgia-based companies.
In Georgia, the GUARD Initiative is a multi-phase effort designed to assist Georgia aerospace and defense companies who perform Department of Defense related work to explore ways to strengthen their business base through new business opportunities and business methods.
2- The GUARD Initiative is a collaboration between innovation and workforce.
One of the biggest challenges in economic development is identifying and securing a strong workforce to meet business needs. Funded through a grant by the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Economic Adjustment, the GUARD Initiative is supported by the Center of Innovation for Aerospace and the Workforce Division who are working together to identify workforce solutions for these businesses.
3- The GUARD Initiative seeks to support communities in the state who could be affected by DoD spending.
If your company currently provides goods and services to the DoD, do you have additional non-DoD customers to help you be resilient to changes in DoD spending? Or,if your community has a strong DoD industry base, are there opportunities for these industries to diversify their economic base? If not, the GUARD Initiative can help!
4- The GUARD Initiative focuses on two of Georgia’s high-demand industries, aerospace and defense.
Did you know that nearly two-thirds (66%) of Georgia’s DoD spending is related to various service related industries like construction, knowledge based, facility related and engineering services? In contrast the other 34 percent comes from the manufacturing of aircraft, ships, submarines and land vehicles.
5- The GUARD Initiative seeks to leverage partnerships and support business success by soliciting employer input, here’s how:
Data Management – Define additional data needs and resources, and identify options for delivering the data to internal and external stakeholders, supporting the development of a new GUARD Initiative web portal.
Developing Connections – Using Aerospace and Defense Supplier Working Groups provides a forum for: B2B activities, identifying common needs and issues, and building connections to state resources. Provide connections to Georgia’s key industry sectors which may provide adjacent market opportunities for suppliers.
Regional Planning – The Regional Planning Effort will engage local and regional economic development stakeholders within the communities most at risk to encourage and equip the regions to work together to strengthen local businesses and improve each region’s ability to expand and strengthen its economy. Utilizing a charrette planning process, this effort will focus on key “at risk” regions to identify key stakeholders, regional assets and engage communities in regional planning in order to be more resilient to changes in DOD spending.
Sustainable Development – Field a GUARD Initiative web portal to host economic interactive data tool and visualizations, Aerospace and Defense Supplier Working Group, regional plans and connections to other GDEcD programs.