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 www.heartofwestgeorgia.org.

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.

Sentury Tire to create more than 1,000 jobs in Troup County

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that Sentury Tire, the fifth-largest and fastest-growing tire manufacturer in China, will create more than 1,000 jobs and invest $530 million in a car and light truck tire manufacturing operation in Troup County. The new facility in LaGrange will support Sentury Tire’s existing customer base in North America.

“Sentury Tire’s commitment to locate in LaGrange speaks to Georgia’s business-friendly climate and the strong relationship we maintain with our economic partners in China” said Deal. “We value Sentury Tire’s investment in Georgia and the vision of the company’s leadership for continued growth in Troup County. I am positive that Georgia’s automotive manufacturing and technology capabilities will be assets to Sentury Tire as the company serves a growing customer base.”

Sentury Tire specializes in the advanced manufacturing of tires for use in the automotive and aerospace industries. The company is a world leader in highly intelligent tire manufacturing processes that increase efficiency and minimize production times, and robotics plays a crucial role in the production process. The new manufacturing facility will create jobs in production, national sales and marketing, warehousing and distribution. As a further investment in the facility, Sentury is planning to incorporate a research and development center that will employ approximately 100 highly qualified technical personnel.

“We are very happy to select LaGrange to the location of our North American manufacturing,” said Sentury Tire Executive Vice President Rami Helminen. “The education systems and high quality workforce complement our leading edge technology in the production and research and development. We are confident that Georgia has the infrastructure that can help us build a successful logistical operation to supply our growing aftermarket dealer sales and OEM sales to auto manufacturers in the North American market. We anticipate production to start in 2018 and will build up to our projected manufacturing capacity of 12 million passenger and light truck tires.”

Sentury Tire products are sold worldwide under the brands Sentury, Landsail and Delinte. About 70 percent of Sentury Tire’s sales are in the EU and U.S markets. Sentury Tire’s parent company, Qingdao Sentury Tire Co., Ltd., based in Qingdao, China, employs 2,500 people worldwide and currently has manufacturing operations in Qingdao and Thailand.

“We could not be happier for the state of Georgia, LaGrange and Troup County and the entire team at Sentury Tire. We have the best Governor in the country for business, the best state in the country for business and a community that has a history of great leadership,” said Scott Malone, President of the Development Authority of LaGrange. “When you combine great leadership with great resources, you get great results. This was truly a team win for all involved!”

“We are absolutely thrilled that Sentury Tire will make this investment in LaGrange,” said City of LaGrange Mayor Jim Thorton. “Sentury Tire’s decision confirms that LaGrange is one of the best places for international investment in the Southeast. LaGrange is already a regional hub for advanced manufacturing, and our city is currently home to businesses hailing from 10 foreign nations. With Sentury Tire, we are delighted to add China to the long list of foreign nations finding a home in LaGrange.”

Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Director of International Investment Nico Wijnberg represented the Global Commerce division in partnership with Georgia Power, Georgia Quick Start, the Georgia Ports Authority and the Development Authority of LaGrange.

“The state of Georgia has had a strategic office in China since 2007 and an office in Qingdao since 2013, helping foster business connections between Georgians and Chinese professionals,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “This project is a great example of the relationships that have been forged through active communication and engagement in China. As Sentury Tire joins some 38 Chinese businesses with operations in Georgia, we are looking forward to working with our partners in LaGrange to ensure the company’s success well into the future.”

About Sentury Tire
Sentury Tire is headquartered in Qingdao, Shandong, China. In 2009, Sentury Tire started mass production of passenger, crossover, sport utility vehicle, commercial van, light truck and aircraft tires. Sentury’s facilities have the capacity to produce more than 15 million tires per year in China and 12 million tires in Thailand. 

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.




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Hanil E Hwa Expands Operations in Troup County

Hanil E Hwa Interior Systems Georgia, INC announced expansion of the LaGrange, Georgia plant.

Hanil E Hwa will expand into an existing building in the LaGrange Industrial Park where it will make the additional investment and hire up to 80 new employees. This announced expansion comes on the heels of a trip to Korea led by Mayor Jim Thornton that included meeting with corporate leadership of Hanil E-Hwa.

Mayor Thornton commented that, “Hanil E-Hwa is a great company and a very important part of the LaGrange community. We are thrilled that they are continuing to expand their operations here.”

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