The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) has been quite busy. Gov. Nathan Deal recently announced that the department’s Global Commerce Division helped create a total of 30,309 new jobs during FY 17, generating a record-breaking $6.33 billion in investments. This growth is a result of the expansion or relocation of 377 companies covering every region of the state.
“Georgia has consistently been named the No. 1 state for business as companies from around the world continue to choose Georgia to relocate their headquarters or expand operations,” said Deal. “Once companies plant roots here in Georgia, they seem to grow at impressive rates, thanks in part to the business-friendly climate we have carefully cultivated and our highly skilled workforce. The FY 17 investment numbers and new jobs figures represent not only meaningful opportunities for communities across our state, but also new sources of income for more than 30,000 families. From the support of our state legislature and local officials, Georgia has proven to be a reliable and responsible place for businesses of all sizes to plan for future growth. I commend Commissioner Pat Wilson for his leadership, as well as the dedicated GDEcD team that works to keep Georgia on the minds of business executives around the world. These successes should serve as a point of pride for all Georgians and I look forward to more days of celebration like this one in the years to come.”
In FY 17:
Businesses already located in Georgia accounted for 59 percent of total jobs created (17,865 of 30,309) and 58 percent of overall investment ($3.7 billion).
Companies new to the state created 12,444 jobs and generated $2.64 billion in investments.
Georgia’s financial technology sector saw the most significant job growth, with an increase of 250 percent over FY 16. The software and technology industry increased projects by 30 percent (42 projects), representing 9,821 jobs and $1.4 billion in investments.
The state’s workforce saw significant job growth in the following industries: logistics and distribution (85 percent), automotive (95 percent) and digital media (97 percent). The food processing sector also saw a 119 percent increase in projects over FY 16.
Eighty-six Foreign Direct Investment international projects created more than 6,000 jobs and generated over $1.6 billion in investments.
The Athens region saw the greatest number of new jobs (2,918) and the LaGrange region experienced the largest total investment with $766 million.
Eighty percent of total economic development announcements were outside of the metro Atlanta region.
Investments from companies in Asian countries included 22 locations, creating 1,445 jobs and generating $751 million in investments. Companies from China, Japan and South Korea provided the largest investments among countries in Asia.
Companies from Canada and the Middle East generated total investments of $34 million and $20.4 million, respectively.
The Entrepreneur and Small Business team served 1,760 companies in FY 17, 60 percent of which were startup companies.
Eight of the top 20 job creating projects associated with the Global Commerce Division since Deal took office were announced in FY 17, including Honeywell, Luxottica, Amazon, Sentury Tire, Home Chef, UPS, Anthem and NCR. Last year, Honeywell announced it would co-locate its state-of-the-art North American Software Center and the global headquarters of its newly-formed Home and Building Technologies (HBT) business, which delivers more than 25 percent of the company’s total worldwide sales, in Midtown Atlanta. Combined, the Software Center and HBT headquarters will create more than 800 jobs and invest $19 million in the new Atlanta offices/the Atlanta area.
“With proximity to world-class universities, tech incubators, and a business-friendly environment, Georgia is an important hub for our global business and for our local employees who develop products, technologies and software that advance the Internet of Things,” said Terrence Hahn, President and CEO of Honeywell Home and Building Technologies.
Last week, Area Development, a leading executive magazine covering corporate site selection and relocation, named Georgia the No. 1 state for business in its 2017 Top States for Doing Business rankings, a distinction Georgia has now earned for the fourth consecutive year. This ranking reflects the results of a recent survey that asked site consultants to provide their top state picks in 12 categories related to companies’ location and facility planning. In addition to being the top overall state for business, Georgia ranked No. 1 for workforce development programs, and cooperative and responsive state government.
“We are extremely proud of these outstanding FY 17 numbers, which are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our Global Commerce team as well as our economic development partners around the state,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Our team works hand in hand with our communities, utility partners, sister state agencies, educational institutions and beyond to provide our new projects and existing industries access to our competitive advantages and strategic assets.”
GDEcD was rated the nation’s best state-level economic development organization in a survey released Monday by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).
“We enjoyed an impressive FY 17, and I cannot thank my Global Commerce team enough for their hard work,” said Tom Croteau, GDEcD deputy commissioner of Global Commerce. “Georgia is the ideal place for all companies to succeed, and we are optimistic to keep up this positive momentum in the years to come.”