Local Development Authority Commissions Broadband Study
In an effort to understand the broadband connectivity of the Greater West Georgia region and to help foster infrastructure investments, workforce education and economic development, the Greater West Georgia Joint Development Authority (GWGJDA) has commissioned a broadband feasibility study.
Slated to commence in the fall of 2016, the study will survey public and private broadband users in the Greater West Georgia region to determine their broadband usage as well as their broadband goals and needs. The Greater West Georgia region consists of those counties who hold membership in the GWGJDA including Carroll, Coweta, Haralson, Heard, Paulding, Polk and Troup counties.
The emphasis of the study is fact-finding — surveying and understanding fiber connectivity to business parks, existing businesses and consumers and new growth opportunities in the region.
“This is the first of many steps to help bring advanced fiber connectivity and infrastructure investments to our area,” stated GWGJDA chairman, Tim Warren. “We need to fully understand our current broadband climate before we can plan improvements and upgrades.”
The Greater West Georgia broadband study is funded through a grant provided by Carroll Electric Membership Cooperative (EMC), a not-for-profit, consumer-owned cooperative that distributes electricity to 50,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers.
“We are excited to partner with the Greater West Georgia Joint Development Authority to get this broadband study underway,” said Carroll EMC President and CEO, Tim Martin. “We look forward to reviewing the findings of the study and being a partner in the development of a regional connectivity plan.”
Performing the broadband study is ECC Technologies, Inc (ECC), a technology and communications consulting firm responsible for the development of over $1 billion in technology-based projects globally. ECC has extensive experience facilitating broadband studies and projects.
Missy Kendrick Hired as the New President of DAPC
As announced in Development Authority of Polk County (DAPC) Board Meeting, Missy Kendrick has been hired as the new President to replace outgoing President, Rachel Rowell. Missy comes from Barnesville-Lamar County where she has been the Executive Director for the past 11 years. She has worked in Chamber or Economic Development agencies for over 20 years. Missy is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional and a recognized Chamber Institute for Organization Management graduate. She serves on the Board of GEDA (Georgia Economic Developers Association) as Second Vice-Chair and serves on several local boards in varying capacities. We look forward to Missy coming to our community and bringing a wealth of economic development experience and knowledge with her.
The Mission of the Development Authority of Polk County (DAPC) is to pursue new jobs, economic growth, and development in Polk County through assisting existing industries with expansions, as well as recruiting new business and industry to Polk County. The President/CEO is responsible for furthering the business development aspirations and strategies of the community as defined by the DAPC board and economic development stakeholders from the public and private sector.
Kimoto Tech, Inc. Announces $6 Million Capital Investment Project in Cedartown
Cedartown’s Kimoto Tech, Inc. announced on July 25th a $6 million capital investment project that will allow the film-coating company to progress with the advancement of new technologies and sustain their global competitiveness.
Kimoto Tech, Inc. (KTI) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kimoto Co. Ltd, headquartered in Saitama, Japan. The Cedartown location consists of more than 360 acres with an 110,000 square foot manufacturing and corporate office facility.
Cedartown is also the site for Kimoto Tech’s 13,000 square foot Research and Development Center. This facility houses some of the most advanced measuring and analytical instrumentation available — all devoted to the development and testing of new film coating products and the technology required to manufacture them.
“We are very excited about Kimoto’s capital investment project,” said Cedartown City Commission Chairman Larry Odom. “Kimoto has been and continues to be a successful model of an industry that not only excels in their field, but also serves as an example of a fine community partner and neighbor. The commission and the City of Cedartown looks forward to working alongside Kimoto in this project and in the future.”
The investment will include the addition of a Class 1000 Clean Room Compact Coating Line and multiple technology upgrades to the existing coating line. “These improvements will permit Kimoto Tech, Inc. to support new advanced touch screen, display, electronic and IoT (Internet of Things) markets,” explained KTI President Miguel N. Leal.
“The rapid advancement of technology in recent years has changed the landscape of manufacturing considerably. Kimoto Tech, Inc. is making every effort to remain relevant with ever changing demands for optical grade and specialty coated films.
These two enhancements to our Cedartown manufacturing operations will permit Kimoto Tech, Inc. to remain competitive in domestic and international markets.”
KTI’s capital investment project was made public at the July 25th meeting of the Cedartown Development Authority. Kimoto Tech, Inc. acknowledged appreciation for the significant contributions for this project by the Development Authority of Polk County, the Cedartown Board of Commissioners and the Cedartown Development Authority.
“These vital public institutions are making this investment possible through tax incentives in support of local industry,” Leal said. “Capital investment by public corporations coupled with local government support of industry will always remain key ingredients in sustaining a vibrant community. Kimoto Tech, Inc. wishes to express gratitude to all members of these two organizations for assisting Kimoto Tech, Inc. in establishing a future within Polk County and the State of Georgia.”
Georgia Department for Economic Development Commissioner Chris Carr also expressed gratitude to the local boards and commended Kimoto for continuing to build on a decades-long operation.
“We are excited that Kimoto Tech, Inc. has continued to grow and thrive in Georgia for nearly 30 years,” said Georgia Department for Economic Development Commissioner Chris Carr. “The local support from the Cedartown Board of Commissioners, the Cedartown Development Authority and the Development Authority of Polk County is a testament to the importance of providing resources to our existing industries as they are the backbone of our state.”
Polk County Walk of Fame Unveiled to Public in Cedartown
Dignitaries from near and far joined family members and onlookers Saturday to finally see what was hiding underneath the tarps at the Polk County Courthouse.
The statues that adorned the Polk County Sports Walk of Fame were met with applause and the audience got even more news: The Walk of Fame committee isn’t done yet with its work.
Committee member and city commissioner Dale Tuck said during opening remarks that locals are seeking to include Escue Rogers, a local civil rights leader and coach at Cedar Hill High School.
“Hopefully next time we’re here — and it won’t be this hot — we’ll be unveiling his statue, a recognition we all know is so richly deserved,” Tuck said.
Underneath black tarps covered for the week were the life-sized creations of sculptor Julia Knight who captured the spirit and determination of the first six athletes who were honored as the first in the Walk of Fame. Those included Howard “Doc” Ayers, Ray Beck, Edgar Chandler, Jimmy Hightower, Doug Sanders and Whitlow Wyatt.
Also on hand was former University of Georgia Bulldogs head football coach Vince Dooley, who said that he felt it a fitting tribute for Ayers and Chandler to be remembered forever in bronze.
“Polk County should be proud, and it continues to produce people that are talented and work hard,” he said.
Development Authority Tours Port of Savannah
About 18 members of the Greater West Georgia Joint Development Authority were treated to a tour of the Port of Savannah recently. The group, which includes civic leaders, business owners and representatives from the seven counties that make up the West Georgia region, also used the port facility to hold an economic development meeting.
Georgia Ports Authority’s Director of Statewide Economic Development and Government Affairs Bart Gobell (seen in the yellow vest) showed the GWGJDA group around the deepwater terminals and container facility that make up the Port of Savannah. Record years of growth at the Georgia Ports have meant enormous increases in total tonnage and container traffic. Cargo ships from all over the world bring their products to the U.S. through the port. Likewise, it connects Georgia-grown and Georgia-made products to the rest of the world. All of which has led to its title of the fastest growing container port in the U.S. And, just down the road, the Port of Brunswick is the No. 1 port in the country for automobile imports.
“Strong partnerships are key to economic growth,” said Gobell. “We work with many companies located in Greater West Georgia to provide beneficial logistic options for their current operations and future growth.”
“Those deepwater ports drive development and opportunity in every corner of our seven counties,” said Tim Warren, Chairman of the Authority and President of United Community Bank. “The Port of Savannah is our gateway to international commerce,” he added, recalling how important it was to securing the growing number of foreign companies who now call West Georgia home.
For Authority member Richard Davis, Vice President of Wayne Davis Concrete, seeing the vast size, scope and complexity of the GPA’s Savannah facilities really helped to bring everything into perspective. “It was meaningful to me to see the ports in person and meet our important partners across the state,” he said.
“Although we are technically four hours and a thousand feet above sea level from Savannah, it may as well be called The Port of West Georgia. That’s how close our connection is,” said Andy Camp, VP of Economic Development for Carroll Tomorrow. “Our strong logistics backbone is anchored by the largest single container terminal facility in North America. West Georgia companies focused on speed to market utilize the port on a daily basis so it’s a great partnership resource,” he noted.
Dual Enrollment Figures on the Rise in Polk County School District
According to an article in The Polk County Standard Journal, testing continues to boost numbers of students taking college-level courses in high school classrooms, and efforts to increase the number of students who are involved in the dual enrollment program have provided progress according to figures released by school officials.
A program to get more students enrolled in classes that will count for both high school and college credit is now showing big gains since a new focus was placed on dual enrollment starting in 2013, when only 10 students were earning credit hours.
Fast forward to 2016, and the enrollment numbers have jumped to 272 students and more than 2,000 credit hours earned by Cedartown and Rockmart high school juniors and seniors in what is now called the Move On When Ready program, the state’s overall dual enrollment program.
Washington Post: Southern Company to Unveil Energy Storage Project
Southern Company and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) are unveiling an energy storage “demonstration project” in Cedartown, Ga., that pairs a 1 megawatt lithium ion battery with a 1 megawatt solar photovoltaic installation. Kimberly Greene, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Southern Company, told the Washington Post in a statement that the company and EPRI “are examining the kind of battery storage technology that could help shape America’s future. The development of cost-effective energy storage is important to delivering the full potential of renewable energy for the benefit of the families we serve.”
See the Washington Post’s full story: “Why Storing Solar Energy and Using it at Night is Closer than you Think.”
Photo Credit: Southern Company
Built to Spec
Polk County has a very active and successful speculative building program that has been around since 1993. Four of the top companies that located in Polk did so because of the spec building program. Plus, our landscape and surrounding attributes are conducive to industries looking for easy access to the interstate while avoiding the hassle of Atlanta traffic.
Small Business Expo Coming to Polk County
The Polk County Chamber of Commerce is hosting the 2015 Polk County Small Business Expo on Thursday, September 10, 2015. This year’s event comes with a few surprises.