Governor Brian P. Kemp, in conjunction with the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), today announced that Georgia sustained its momentum through economic development projects in key industries during the first half of Fiscal Year 2023 (July 1 through December 31, 2022). The 218 locations or expansions supported by GDEcD’s Global Commerce division are expected to create approximately 17,500 new jobs and more than $13 billion in investment for the state. Both the number of locations and total investment amount increased over the same period last year.
“Georgia is the best place to live, work, and raise a family, and that starts with good jobs,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “These latest figures from the nation’s top-ranked Department of Economic Development show that job creators know the Peach State has what they need for success. As they continue to bring unprecedented levels of opportunity to communities in every zip code of our state, I want to thank the economic developers on both the local and state levels, as well as our partners in the General Assembly, for making Georgia a place where everyone can thrive.”
Areas outside the 10-county metro Atlanta region accounted for 85 percent of jobs created and 92 percent of investments from economic development projects during the period. Four of Georgia’s largest industries – advanced manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, and food processing – accounted for nearly 75 percent of new jobs and 84 percent of investments. Planned investments resulting from these projects increased by more than 38 percent, compared to the same time last year.
“Decades of experience in listening to companies and working alongside them to solve challenges that bolster goals for long-term success make Georgia a best bet for business. Proven solutions such as our best-in-class job training program Georgia Quick Start and our GRAD certified sites that support accelerated project timelines speak directly to the most important hurdles many companies face today,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Beyond that, Georgia is combining the resources and talent of local, state, and international partners to drive innovation and create meaningful economic impact. We are thankful to all of our partners for their continued efforts to support statewide job creation. Our collaborative spirit in economic development makes Georgia unique and is vital to success in our communities.”
The automotive industry was the second-largest source of new jobs and investment, after advanced manufacturing. In October, state and local officials joined company representatives, including Korean Ambassador to the U.S. Tae-yong Cho, for the groundbreaking of the new Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America (HMGMA) EV facility, which will support more than 8,100 direct jobs in Bryan, Bulloch, Chatham and Effingham Counties. Three off-site HMGMA suppliers announced locations following HMGMA’s groundbreaking, swiftly surpassing the initial $1 billion in investment predicted to come from such additions.
International companies have been valued partners in creating a closed-loop electric mobility supply chain and accounted for 23 percent of state projects since July 1, 2022. Historic project examples include the partnership between SK On and Hyundai Motor Group in Bartow County and the next-generation developer FREYR Battery’s Coweta County facility. Both are in the top five largest projects by investment in the state’s history. Battery recyclers Sung-Il Hitech and Denkai America also joined Georgia’s growing electric mobility ecosystem.
The aerospace and defense industries also continued to benefit from Georgia’s logistics infrastructure and engineering talent pool, creating more than 1,500 new jobs. Archer Aviation Inc., an aerospace company advancing sustainable urban air mobility, and Anduril Industries, a defense technology company, both announced facilities near airports and will also benefit from nearby top-ranked technical colleges and four-year universities.
Communities throughout Georgia’s middle and coastal regions continued to benefit from advanced manufacturing, a cornerstone industry sector in the state. Major investments or expansions announced thus far in FY 2023 include YKK AP in Macon and Beretta Holding S.A.’s new facility in Bryan County through its subsidiary Norma Precision Inc. This leading job-growth sector has announced more than 7,700 new jobs in the state since July 1, 2022. Additionally, Germany-based Haering Precision celebrated the grand opening of its Lavonia facility in November with a two-day event, including a “Future Day” for approximately 400 local high school students and members of the community.
Supported by the state’s agricultural strength and notable logistics and distribution capabilities, the food processing industry continued to choose Georgia for growth. Companies in this field announced more than $695 million in investments, largely through expansions. King’s Hawaiian®, a Georgia partner for more than a decade, announced another expansion of its Oakwood facility, marking its second expansion in less than a year.
“Companies that come to Georgia are connected with partners in the community and the state to solve workforce challenges, which is one reason why they choose to grow in Georgia again and again,” said GDEcD Deputy Commissioner for Global Commerce Kristi Brigman. “By working with the Georgia Quick Start program and letting students see the jobs of tomorrow in-person, companies can build the talent and workforce they need from the ground up. These programs help Georgians upskill, including those who are part of Georgia’s strong inbound domestic migration trends.”
Two industries with rapidly growing footprints in Georgia – life sciences and film – also welcomed additional facilities that will support industry breakthroughs and learning opportunities for students. Georgia Tech hosted a groundbreaking for its Science Square purpose-built district in August, and The Rowen Foundation’s 2,000-acre science and learning campus broke ground in early December. Athena Studios announced it will add an additional 350,000 square feet to its Athens facility, which includes a structure dedicated to training the local workforce through a partnership with the University of Georgia and Georgia Film Academy. At the former Fort Gillem outside of Atlanta, BlueStar Studios announced more than 600,000 square feet of new stage space, as well as an additional 45,000 square feet dedicated to technical resources and amenities, which will include refurbished buildings that preserve the base’s historic architecture.