Manufacturing - Workforce

#1 State for Business, #1 Region for Growth

Once again, Georgia tops Area Development’s list of the 2015 Top States for Doing Business. This independent yearly survey of site consultants compares strengths in business environment, labor climate, infrastructure and global access.

Strategically located just a short distance from the world’s busiest and most efficient airport, West Georgia combines the best of the state’s strengths in one diverse and rapidly growing area. West Georgia also boasts high-skill labor thanks to the top-ranked workforce program in the nation, Quick Start. It’s easy to see why companies such as Kia, Honda, Caterpillar and Walmart call the region home.

In 2015, Kia hit the milestone of assembling its 500,000th vehicle at its plant in West Point and stated it is investing $1.6 billion in machinery and equipment. “By choosing West Georgia, Kia was able to take advantage of proximity to its future suppliers while benefiting from a solid infrastructure,” Kia’s Corinne Hodges told the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Much of Kia’s success is attributed to the support Georgia offers in terms of world-class logistic ecosystem, customized workforce training programs and a culture of collaboration. It’s estimated that Kia has created more than 15,000 regional jobs.

Honda Precision Parts of Georgia has been in Haralson County for ten years now. It recently expanded its transmission production facility in Tallapoosa, adding the casting and machining of transmission cases to its initial assembly operations. Honda more than tripled plant size from 100,000 to 350,000 square feet and increased capital investment from $100 million to $150 million.

Another company that chose West Georgia is Caterpillar. “We are excited about our growth opportunities in LaGrange,” said Kevin Thieneman, Caterpillar General Manager for Forest Products. “A large part of that is due to our world-class forestry team, who design and build forestry products that are shipped globally,” he said when announcing that Caterpillar was expanding its LaGrange facility. He told Area Development that the manufacturer would add 50 new jobs and invest $25 million into its LaGrange operations. “We look forward to building an even stronger base in LaGrange,” he said.

Walmart is one of the companies helping to make the area a major distributions hub. It based its distribution center in LaGrange, citing strong logistics advantages and resources for receiving, storing and distributing goods. West Georgia’s convenient location gives the retail giant prime access to four major interstates, rail lines, one of the largest air cargo networks in North America and two ports. 80 percent of the U.S. market can be reached within two hours by air or two days by truck.

Greater West Georgia Joint Development Authority congratulates all of our economic development and business partners who have helped us achieve this prestigious ranking three years in a row.