The GUARD Initiative

Statewide Program Designed to Diversify Georgia Defense-Related Businesses
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. Funded through a grant by the DoD Office of Economic Adjustment, the GUARD Initiative is supported by the Center of Innovation for Aerospace and the Workforce Division.


  • Georgia ranks 7th nationally in Department of Defense Spending nationwide (personnel and contracting) with $6.4 billion executed in Georgia in fiscal year 2015.
  • The majority of Georgia’s DoD spending is related to professional services like scientific research, engineering, and construction, and installation support
  • Nearly one-third (34%) of Georgia’s DoD spending is related to aircraft, ships, submarines and land vehicles.

How does this affect you and your community?

  • 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?
  • If your community has a DoD focus, are there opportunities to diversify your economic base?

If you are interested in doing business with the DoD, how can you begin this process?

How you or your community should be involved

  • 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 Group provide 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.

Now in Phase II, the GUARD Initiative continues to contact DoD contractors, share information trends, and make them aware of Department of Economic Development services to assist companies to expand their businesses, and locate new markets, both domestically and internationally.

To be part of this effort to build stronger companies and communities, contact Bo Causey, Senior Project Manager, at


Bo Causey

Sr. Project Manager


More About Georgia Benefits

Georgia’s industry-specific Project Analysts are available to help you with a wide range of business needs:
  • Site and building services
  • Location data
  • Community contacts and facilitation
  • Cost environment analysis
  • Coordination with state agencies

Business Incentives Brochure

business incentives brochure
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