Corvaglia Group to Invest in Coweta County with U.S. Expansion

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) today announced that Corvaglia Group, a Switzerland based supplier to the beverage industry, will build a new manufacturing facility in Newnan. The new operation will create a variety of advanced manufacturing jobs and bring an investment of $25 million to Coweta County.

“Our economic development successes are based on strong partnerships, and corvaglia’s
decision to build a facility in Newnan is a result of these efforts,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat
Wilson. “Our economic development partners played a huge role in landing this project, and I
am grateful for their commitment to the state. Coweta County is perfectly suited to meet the
needs of this company, and I look forward to their future success.”
This new U.S. production facility will complement corvaglia’s existing operations in Eschlikon,
Switzerland and Ixtlahuaca, Mexico. corvaglia employs approximately 275 individuals

“This is a major strategic step in corvaglia’s history that positions us well to serve the U.S.
market,” said Corvaglia Closures USA President and General Manager James B. Fisher. “The
Newnan, Georgia location positions us well for operational success, and the sense of
community aligns with our core values.”

The facility will be operational by the end of 2018. Additionally, corvaglia will bring high-speed
digital printing to the new U.S. facility.

“We are honored to have been chosen by Corvaglia Group for the location of their new
manufacturing facility,” said Trae Westmoreland, President of the Coweta County Development
Authority. “Having just joined the team at the Coweta County Development Authority, I am
grateful for the time and energy that Amanda Fields, Director, Existing Industries & Workforce
Development, put into the recruitment of Corvaglia Group to Coweta County.”

“We appreciate the cooperative efforts between the Georgia Department of Economic
Development, the Coweta County Board of Commissioners, Pattillo Industrial Real Estate, and
our local utility partners in making this a reality. Corvaglia Group is a great company that values
the communities in which they operate and we look forward to watching them succeed in our
community,” said Amanda Fields, Director, Existing Industries & Workforce Development.

GDEcD project manager Nikki Yu represented the Global Commerce division in partnership with
GDEcD’s European Office, Workforce Division, Centers of Innovation for Logistics, Georgia EMC
and the Coweta County Development Authority.

“We are extremely proud that Corvaglia Group has selected Coweta County for its first U.S.
manufacturing facility. Coweta County is always looking for innovators in their field and
corvaglia certainly fits what we are seeking to make our county a better place,” said AL Smith,
Chairman of the Coweta County Board of Commissioners. “We look forward to working with
Corvaglia Group in providing quality jobs for the people of Coweta County.”

OFS to Expand Carrollton Plant and Create 149 Jobs

OFS Fitel, LLC, a manufacturer of optical fiber products, will create 200 jobs and invest $138.9 million in the expansion of both their Norcross and Carrollton facilities.

Approximately 149 of the 200 new jobs will be in Carrollton and the local investment is $50 million. The Carrollton plant is located on Columbia Drive.

“I think we as a county are extremely fortunate that OFS decided to expand here locally,” said Marty Smith, chairman of the Carroll County Board of Commissioners. “It’s great to see one of our major local partners continue with their success and growth. We recognize the fact that Industries of this size and magnitude obviously have many choices and opportunity to expand worldwide. We sincerely appreciate that their choice was Carroll County.”

Lindsay Martin, director of the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Existing Industry and Regional Recruitment, represented the Global Commerce division in collaboration with Partnership Gwinnett, Carroll Tomorrow, Georgia Power and Carroll EMC.

“We are fortunate to have a long-standing relationship with OFS that provides them assurances of a quality workforce and local partnerships that make doing business in Carroll County a win-win proposition,” said Daniel Jackson, president and CEO of Carroll Tomorrow. “As an industry leader with global expansion options, we are proud OFS made the decision to continue their investment in Carroll County.”

Pat Wilson, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, congratulated both Carroll and Gwinnett County on the expansion. He said that OFS has been an valuable corporate citizen.

“It is always a win when an existing industry commits to an expansion, but what makes this announcement even more impactful that is that OFS is creating job opportunities at two facilities in the state,” said Wilson.

OFS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japanese parent company, Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. In 2017 Furukawa Electric announced plans to nearly double its 2016 optical fiber manufacturing capacity by 2019 and to increase its optical fiber cable manufacturing capacity. Japan is a leading investor nation in Georgia, ranking first among Georgia’s international investors based on total dollar value of investments, and third based on the total number of facilities.

Carroll County Receives National Recognition for Work-based Learning Programs

The Center for Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning in Washington, D.C. recognized Carroll County and other community, business and educational leaders in apprenticeship and work-based learning at a luncheon hosted by Jobs for the Future (JFF), a national non-profit focused on bridging educational and economic opportunity for underserved populations.

The purpose of the event was to celebrate the history and boost the momentum of the expanding movement to support apprenticeship and other forms of work-based learning as mainstream workforce development and talent solutions for American businesses.

Daniel Jackson, President/CEO of the Carroll County Chamber and Carroll Tomorrow, was on hand to accept the recognition on behalf of a cross-sector of business and educational partners throughout Carroll County who are investing resources to empower leadership and engage talent.

“These partners are working with 200 local employers in providing work-based learning opportunities for high school students, placing Carroll County as number one in student participation out of 159 counties in Georgia,” Jackson said. “One of these partners has successfully graduated over 2,000 at-risk students from high school over the last 11 years.”

According to the Center for Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning’s recognition, “The Carroll County Chamber of Commerce and Carroll Tomorrow is an inspirational example of the local business community coming together with education and other stakeholders to connect students to real-world work experiences—at scale—to strengthen educational outcomes and ensuring a pipeline of educated and skilled workers for their community.”

Jackson pointed out that Carroll County was in good company for the honor. Among the 18 honorees were Amazon, CVS Health, The Hartford, North America’s Building Trades Unions, and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship.

Jackson noted that in 2013, Carroll County was chosen by the Department of Education to be featured in an assessment as part of Harvard University’s Pathways to Prosperity Initiative.  While Harvard provided a very positive summary of workforce and education activity in Carroll County, Carroll Tomorrow leadership knew advances could be made.

A Blue Ribbon Task Force was created comprised of a select and diverse group of business leaders who designed a comprehensive strategic plan. The ultimate goal is to give every Carroll County student the opportunity to discover their natural gifts, skill sets, and interests to identify career pathways that will allow them to successfully pursue individual career goals.

“The vision is to create an environment that ensures every opportunity for a well-trained and highly qualified workforce,” Jackson said. “The activities that have resulted from these collaborations have led to the recognition Carroll County received from JFF.”

The JFF Center for Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning provides expert guidance on how to identify and share effective approaches that work for companies, students, and workers. The Center also plays an important role in highlighting innovations that expand opportunities for people of color, women, opportunity youth, people with disabilities, and others who have traditionally been underrepresented in career advancement opportunities and well-paying jobs.

According to the Center, there is an unprecedented influx of federal funds and a renewed energy around expanding apprenticeship to new industries, occupations, and communities.  With better access to the right information and support, the Center’s vision is to drive this movement forward, improve people’s lives, strengthen the American workforce, and provide American businesses with the skilled workers they need to grow and prosper.



Daniel Jackson (right), President and CEO of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce and Carroll Tomorrow, accepts an award recognizing Carroll County’s efforts in work-based learning initiatives from Eric Seleznow, senior advisor at Jobs for the Future, national non-profit that builds educational and economic opportunity for underserved populations.

Development Authority of Heard County Announces the Relocation of Wall Asphalt Services, Inc., to Heard County

The Development Authority of Heard County has agreed to sell 4 to 5 acres in the Industrial Park West in Franklin to Wall Asphalt Services, Inc. The Company is presently located in Villa Rica, Georgia.

In a statement released by the Company they said “Charlie Wall and Jack Wall are pleased to announce the relocation of Wall Asphalt Services, Inc., to Heard County. The county provides us with excellent access to many of our service areas via US Highway 27, State Road 34 and State Road 100. The Heard County job market offers quality employees for our operation.”

“We are impressed with the quality of schools and recreational facilities the county has to offer. We also really like the small town atmosphere.” “Charlie and Jack would like to thank the Development Authority for their help in locating and acquiring property for our new facility. We will now have the needed room to accommodate our growing business.”

Terry Harper, Chairman of the Development Authority of Heard County said “We are excited to attract an established, vibrant company like Wall Asphalt Services, Inc. These are good people that will fit in well in our community.” Wall Asphalt Services, Inc., in business since 1984, has grown to be a major provider of pavement crack and joint sealing throughout Georgia and the Southeast. Work includes streets, highways and local, regional and international airports. Wall Asphalt currently has 25 employees.

Wall Asphalt will build a structure of approximately 10,000 sq. ft. which will house a 5,000 sq. ft. office with the remainder open for truck and equipment parking. Franklin Industrial Park West is already home to JAC Products, Inc., Heard County’s largest employer.

The Development Authority of Heard County also recently completed building sites in Franklin Industrial Park East which include one 35,000 square foot building site, two 12,000 square foot building sites and one 10,000 square foot building site. All in the city limits of historic Franklin!

Located 52 miles southwest of metropolitan Atlanta, Heard County is centrally located between Interstates 20, 85 and 185. This community of 12,000 offers the peaceful quiet of rural living, nestled conveniently in the heart of the vibrant west Georgia region. In a time of fast paced growth and the limitless challenges that come with that growth, it is a unique pleasure to find a community that remains sensitive to the qualities of life that have historically set them apart.

Heard County is home to some of the finest hunting and fishing in the region. Franklin, the county seat, is situated on the Chattahoochee River at the headwaters of West Point Lake, a 25,900 acre reservoir.

Heard County’s schools have been recognized in several ways for their academic excellence. Recent recognitions include “National School of Excellence”, “Georgia School of Excellence”, and U.S. News and World Reports “Best School” designation.

Heart of West Georgia Presents $30,000 to The Thread

The Heart of West Georgia presented a check in the amount of $30,000 to The Thread to cover the cost of replacing exercise devices that are located within Granger Park.

Heart of West Georgia President Ken Young along with several other members were on hand at The Thread by Granger Park today to present the check.

Members of the Friends of The Thread, along with city and county leaders including LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton received the donation.

Heart of West Georgia is a 501©3 organization focused on raising money for Heart Education, Cardiovascular Projects, Women’s Health, and Obesity to support the people of West Georgia.

For more information on Heart of West Georgia go to

Janus International Group Receives Grant for Export Strategy

Janus International Group, LLC in Temple was chosen as a first-round winner of the annual Atlanta Metro Export Challenge, a grant program targeting local companies with innovative export strategies.

Twenty-eight companies from metro Atlanta were selected and will each receive a reimbursement grant of up to $5,000 to apply toward expenses related to building export capacity and activities.

Janus is a roll up door manufacturer specializing in custom self-storage solutions, beginning with the production of its industry-leading 3rd Generation industrial sheet roll-up doors and extending to facility components as well as self-sustaining hallway systems. Founded in 2002 by President and CEO David Curtis, the Janus International executive team collectively has more than 100 years of experience in the industry.

“Janus International is delighted to be recognized by the Atlanta MEC for not only our capacity to develop and manufacture innovative solutions for the self-storage and commercial/industrial markets, but also our purposeful strategies to expand the company’s footprint on a global scale,” said Curtis.  “With our well-defined long-term revenue objectives, we are positioned for continued growth at a local level as well as globally.”

Nearly 100 companies, ranging in size from pre-revenue startups to small and established medium-sized businesses, applied for the 28 available grants. The semi-finalists represent a wide array of industries, including traditional and advanced manufacturing, professional services, food and beverage, and technology companies.

“Georgia is a great place for innovative companies to prosper, and this competition allows companies to take advantage of our top-notch resources that strengthen their efforts across the globe,” said Mary Waters, Deputy Commissioner for International Trade at the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Andy Camp, Vice President for Economic Development for Carroll Tomorrow, was complimentary of the grant program that spotlights innovation.

“The exporting challenge and grants help Metro Atlanta businesses grow their customers and we are pleased Janus continues to pursue markets around the world from their headquarters in Carroll County,” Camp said.

The Atlanta MEC will distribute a total of $200,000 over the course of the competition. This competition is one of the key components of the Atlanta Metro Export Plan (MEP), an initiative launched in June 2015 to stimulate economic growth in the region and create quality jobs through exports. The grants competition aims to encourage area companies to export and drive business growth by increasing international sales of local products and services.

“As our region works to further our export capacity and intensity, we want to provide concrete resources to companies that are striving to impact our growth,” said Hala Moddelmog, president and CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber. “I’m eager to watch the Atlanta MEC’s semi-finalists continue to position metro Atlanta as a global competitor through the innovative products and services they are delivering to an international market.”

The Burson Center Wins International Recognition

The Burson Center, a mixed-use business incubator and resource center facilitating entrepreneurship, innovation, and business growth by assisting new ventures, was awarded the “Excellence in Business Support & Economic Development, USA” by Corporate LiveWire.

Corporate LiveWire, a weekly online newsletter, provides business professionals and individuals in the corporate sector with information on the latest news and developments from around the globe. The resource offers regular up-to-date content on an array of subject areas such as corporate transactions, international markets, business strategy and changes in legislation.

Over 100,000 professionals working across the various corporate industries, the general public and Corporate LiveWire’s subscriber base were invited to nominate associations, companies and individuals based on their achievements and strengths. Additionally Corporate Livewire’s research team put forward a selection of individuals who excelled within their sector.

The Burson Center was nominated by the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA), a global non-profit member network that serves a diverse group of 2,200+ entrepreneurship centers.

“We are pleased with this international recognition of The Burson Center’s reputation for launching successful companies and for the impact the Center has had on Carroll County’s economy,” said Donna Armstrong-Lackey, Senior Vice President of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce and Carroll Tomorrow.

In citing The Burson Center, Corporate LiveWire noted that of the 124 businesses incubated in the last 10 years, more than 81 percent are still in operation today, having created 815 jobs and over $71 million in capital investment.

The Corporate LiveWire team especially admired the new venture in the shape of the Tinker’s Box, scheduled to open in early fall 2017. The makerspace will be available for use via membership only for inventors and businesses in the area which otherwise may not have access to cutting edge technology such as 3D printers.

“We couldn’t be more excited to offer the opportunity to create, invent, tinker, and commercialize new products in West Georgia,” said Lauren Holverson, Director of The Burson Center.  “This enables our team and community of makers to explore ideas with the potential to grow our economy. This Corporate LiveWire recognition further validates our support of entrepreneurs.”

In support of the award, Corporate LiveWire stated, “The panel of judges applauded The Burson Center in recognizing that the face of business in the 21st century is changing. As we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it is all the more vital that technology businesses are given the facilities they need to thrive, and we commend The Burson Center for facilitating these changes.”

For more information on incubation at The Burson Center, contact Holverson at or call 678-890-2340.

Carroll County Featured During National “Jobs for the Future” Focus

Carroll Tomorrow was invited by Washington DC-based Jobs for the Future (JFF), a national nonprofit that builds educational and economic opportunity for underserved populations, to participate in a series of meetings discussing innovative apprenticeships and work-based learning initiatives.

Donna Armstrong-Lackey, Senior Vice President of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce and Carroll Tomorrow, and Bess Glanton, industrial engineer at Southwire and graduate of the Southwire Engineering Academy (SWEA), represented Carroll County, one of only three communities invited to participate.

Rutherford County, TN and the state of Indiana also took part in the meetings in Washington, as part of President Trump’s Workforce Development Week which included a roundtable with JFF officials, U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Acting Assistant Secretary Byron Ziedema and John Ladd, U.S. DOL director of newly-created Apprenticeship Programs.

The group was invited to U.S. DOL Secretary Alexander Acosta’s office and shared local initiatives with the Secretary. Armstrong-Lackey provided details of the Carrollton-Carroll County Education Collaborative (CCEC) P-16 process focused on the three cornerstones of ‘enroll, employ and enlist’, the Carroll County Chamber’s 8th Grade Career Expo, county and city schools’ CTAE work-based learning programs in over 200 businesses, and the Manufacturing Day experience for educators in local industry.

“We spoke at length with the Secretary’s Chief of Staff Wayne Palmer about our holistic approach locally, and they were very interested in visiting the community,” Armstrong-Lackey said.

Glanton shared details of the SWEA and Southwire’s 12 for Life program. SWEA is a cooperative internship program for 11th- and 12th-grade Carrollton High School STEM program students. SWEA promotes achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics while enabling students to apply these disciplines in a real-world manufacturing setting. 12 for Life, a partnership between Southwire and Carroll County Schools, inspires at-risk students to earn wages by working in a Southwire manufacturing facility while completing high school.

As a result of the conversations with Acosta and his staff, Palmer shared Glanton’s story the next day at Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s meeting of the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity.

“I was so proud to be representing Southwire as a testimony to the positive impact the company’s investments in work-based learning innovations have on our community’s students,” Glanton said. “Secretary Acosta was very intrigued and interested when I described to him Southwire’s 12 for Life and SWEA work based learning programs. My hope is that more students from across the country can benefit from similar programs with the help of the U.S. DOL and the example Southwire has created in Carroll County.”

Glanton graduated from Carrollton High School, obtained an industrial engineering degree at Auburn University and returned to her hometown to work at Southwire. “I had several job opportunities but chose Southwire because I already had a relationship with them that started during the Academy,” Glanton said. “I knew that I wanted to work where they were already invested in me – I wasn’t just another employee.”

Secretary Acosta shared that he is most concerned about streamlining service-delivery and eliminating duplicity between several federal programs, and he is working closely with the U.S. Department of Education to coordinate effort. He is planning a nation-wide tour highlighting Apprenticeship/WBL innovations and Armstrong-Lackey invited him to Carroll County to share all of our initiatives up close.

Carroll Tomorrow and the Carroll County Chamber have been working with JFF for more than five years since being nominated by the Georgia Department of Education to participate in the Harvard University Pathways for Prosperity initiative. JFF has provided support for such initiatives as the Chamber’s Workforce Education Blue Ribbon Task Force and the continuing work of the Workforce Education Committee, as well as the two-year-old CCEC.

In 2012, JFF visited and learned about the successful work-based learning programs at Carroll County School’s College and Career Academy and Carrollton High School, as well as 12 for Life. They continue to hold up Carroll County’s holistic approach to workforce education as a community model, and have regularly promoted Southwire’s 12 for Life and Engineering Academy as model programs for work-based learning.

“Many communities and agencies from around the country have been referred by JFF to learn from Southwire about their successful, ten-year-old 12 for Life program creating work-based learning opportunities for over 2,000 high school students,” Armstrong-Lackey said.

JFF recently announced the opening of the Center for Apprenticeship and Work-based Learning (WBL), providing resources and technical assistance to support talent development through business, education and community partnerships.

Photo: U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s Chief of Staff Wayne Palmer welcomed Bess Glanton (l), industrial engineer at Southwire, and Donna Armstrong-Lackey, Senior Vice President of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce and Carroll Tomorrow, to his roundtable discussion on innovative apprenticeships and work-based initiatives held in Washington, D.C. last week.

Soft Landing at The Burson Center

When a company chooses to locate in Carroll County and has a need for a soft landing location, Carroll Tomorrow offers a unique opportunity.  The Burson Center, a mixed-use business incubator and resource center, provides offices, meeting and conference rooms plus a variety of services.

“Establishing a presence in a new community can be a significant challenge for any company,” said Andy Camp, Vice President of Economic Development at Carroll Tomorrow.  “By offering The Burson Center for soft landings, companies choosing Carroll County can quickly get to work renovating or constructing their facility from a local base of operations.”

Colorado Premium Foods is the latest company to utilize The Burson Center for a soft landing.  A manufacturer of premium protein products, Colorado Premium will create 190 jobs and invest $20 million in a Carroll County food processing plant by the end of 2018.

Among the company’s officials who located at The Burson Center as they awaited the completion of office space at their 159,000-square-foot building was Lori Blackmon, human resources manager.

“The facility and staff were beneficial in allowing Colorado Premium to have a successful startup,” Blackmon said. “ The staff’s encouragement, professionalism and resourcefulness were exemplary. Carrollton and Carroll County are very fortunate to have The Burson Center team driving business success.”

When Robin Miller was senior manager of administration for Yachiyo Manufacturing of America, she also led a team at The Burson Center prior to the opening of their plant.

“Simply put, Carroll County and the Carroll Tomorrow leadership collectively met all of our needs …close to our customer base, available workforce, available land, strong sense of community, incentives, soft landing, just the entire package,” Miller said.

Services are focus of a soft landing at The Burson Center.  A shared receptionist and print/copy center is on-site, and staff assists with identifying local resources needed by the individual projects.  Examples include the recruitment of a trained workforce, government permitting and taxation assistance, language interpretation/translation and cultural exchange.

Donna Armstrong-Lackey, Senior Vice President of Carroll Tomorrow, coordinates soft landings and Lauren Holverson, Director of the Burson Center, is on site to assist clients with their needs such as employee recruitment.

“Not only are we able to provide a larger conference room for recruitment fairs, but we also assist through our partnerships with the Department of Labor and Goodwill Career Center.  We want these new companies to easily find the employees they need to successfully grow in Carroll County,” Holverson said.

The Burson Center began development in 2004 through a partnership of several public and private agencies, under the direction of the Carroll County Economic Development Foundation, Carroll Tomorrow, a 501c3 economic development public-private partnership. The building is named for Dr. John Burson, a local physician and area philanthropist, who donated it to Carroll Tomorrow for the purpose of new business development and expansion. The Center opened for operation in July, 2006.

The center facilitates entrepreneurship, innovation, and business growth by assisting new ventures. It fosters an environment for planning, organizing, and expansion in addition to building a solid foundation while minimizing risk. The center provides business planning, expansion coaching, counseling, technical support, affordable office space, an entrepreneurial environment for clients, and more.

The Burson Center has incubated 130 businesses, creating more than 900 jobs and over $80 million in capital investment since opening in 2006. In addition to the companies that are in residence at The Burson Center, the Center’s staff, and resource partners are currently working with over 250 other businesses annually of varying sizes through the northwest Georgia region. The Center has hosted more than 20,000 visitors for over 3,100 seminars, expos, and programs.

For information concerning a soft landing at The Burson Center, contact Andy Camp at or 678-890-2354, Donna Armstrong-Lackey at or 678-890-2332, or Lauren Holverson at or 678-890-2340.

Colorado Premium, West Georgia Technical College and Georgia QuickStart Sign Training Agreement

Kevin LaFleur, owner and president of Colorado Premium, took part in an agreement signing between his company, West Georgia Technical College and Georgia Quick Start for specialized workforce training as the company plans to bring 190 new jobs to the area. Steve Daniel, president of WGTC, and Jackie Rohosky, Assistant Commissioner with Georgia Quick Start, were on hand to formalize the agreement for not only Quick Start training but ongoing training programs through WGTC as part of its mission to support the demands of industry with a technically skilled and educated workforce.