Certify Your Site

Thank you for your interest in the Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development (GRAD) Program. Its goal is to establish a pool of pre-qualified industrial sites for which the due diligence has been completed prior to a company’s visit.  The GRAD program can have a very positive impact on a community.  Since the program’s inception in 2008, more than 3,000 jobs have been created on GRAD sites.

The GRAD diligence requirements include surveys of a site’s topographical, geotechnical, wetlands and environmental conditions.  A full description of the certification process and all 12 requirements is provided below.

  Certification Process Overview

The GRAD certification process involves the following steps:

    1. 1. The applicant contacts Mike Grundmann ([email protected]; 404.962.4026) to schedule a pre-application conference call.  The objective is to review the application requirements and identify any site issues that may prevent certification.


    1. 2. A confirmation to proceed with the GRAD application is sent to the community.  If needed, a list of engineering / site consulting firms with experience in the GRAD certification process can be provided.  We suggest you engage a qualified engineering or site consultant firm in the certification process.


    1. 3. The GRAD application is submitted and reviewed by a third party to ensure that all requirements are met. Clarifications and additional documentation may be requested.


    1. 4. The third party’s recommendation for GRAD application is reviewed by the GRAD Steering Committee.


    1. 5. Notice of the application’s approval is sent within 15 business days along with News Media Release Template.


  1. 6. Certificate presented at GEDA Spring Workshop or Annual Meeting.
  Download the Application

To preview the full requirements of the GRAD program, please download the application from the link below:

Application for Site Certification >

  Application Deadlines

GRAD applications are reviewed and approved continuously throughout the year, so there are no annual deadlines for submitting applications.  Since the GRAD certification is an important milestone in a community’s economic development efforts, the certificates are typically awarded at a public ceremony to provide a photo opportunity for local press releases. These ceremonies are held during the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA) Annual Meeting each September and during the GEDA Spring Workshop each May.

If you would like to target one of these ceremonies for the awarding of your GRAD certificate, please plan to submit your application about two months prior to the GEDA meeting date. This provides ample time for the GRAD Steering Committee to review the application, for the applicant to provide any additional information that may be needed, and for the committee to approve the final submission.

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