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Governor touts job creation

POSTED: December 26, 2013 5:47 p.m.

Gov. Nathan Deal has announced that the Global Commerce Division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development produced a 10 percent increase in job creation during the state’s most recent fiscal year. Department statistics show its 389 company expansion or location announcements generated 31,656 jobs and $6.07 billion in investment. These statistics indicate a continued trend of growth since the state’s 2009 fiscal year.


Medient Studios’ $90 million investment in Effingham County was cited, as was the company’s announcement of 250 jobs in digital media.


The increase in jobs and investment during fiscal year 2013 came about despite a slight (6 percent) dip in the number of projects worked by GDEcD’s Global Commerce Division, and despite the challenge of overcoming high fiscal year 2012 numbers impacted by large job and investment numbers announced that year by Caterpillar and Baxter.


Of the total projects, 66 percent were the expansion of existing businesses that have had major investment or job creation in Georgia and 34 percent of the projects were from companies investing in Georgia for the first time.


A quarter of the new locations were by international companies establishing regional or hemispherical operations in Georgia. These international companies represented 1,187 jobs and $294 million in investment capital. Expansions of existing Georgia industries created 16,969 jobs, 54 percent of the total job creation and $4.34 billion in investment — almost three quarters of the total fiscal year investment.


The statistics reflect the department’s mission of creating jobs and investment throughout the state. More than half (18,065) of the jobs created and more than three quarters ($4.6 billion) of the state’s investment were generated outside of metro Atlanta. This job and investment creation represented 265 projects (68 percent) of the department’s announcements for the 2013 fiscal year.


“The previous fiscal year included several enormous projects, including Caterpillar and Baxter, that set a very high bar for the department,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “I’m proud that the hard work by our entire team, in collaboration with our many partners, enabled us to surpass that benchmark with even more job creation and investment.”


The Global Commerce Division also contributed to the growth and development of Georgia’s small businesses and entrepreneur-led ventures. The Entrepreneur and Small Business Office served 1,138 startups and small businesses, while 60 percent of the 1,050 companies served by the Existing Industry Team had fewer than 100 employees.


The International Trade Division of GDEcD also experienced a record fiscal year by serving 21 percent more companies than in the previous fiscal year, totaling 1,346 companies. The Trade Division assisted companies in most Georgia counties, resulting in 420 deals that were valued at more than $35 million in FY13, a 35 percent increase over the previous fiscal year.


Georgia’s global outreach continued in FY13. Deal led business missions to countries including Canada, Switzerland, the Netherlands, China, Japan and France. On these missions he called on potential investors, introduced Georgia as an ideal source for quality products and services, highlighted tourism opportunities and raised the overall profile of the state.

The agency also undertook trade missions to Chile, South Africa, Singapore, Korea and Taiwan, all targeted toward increasing trade opportunities for the state and leveraging the state’s international representatives, located in 10 strategic regions of the world. In addition, GDEcD welcomed 41 delegations of business and government leaders from at least 35 countries during the 2013 fiscal year.

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