Coastal Georgia is built on the foundation of a diverse economy, which includes manufacturing, agriculture and agribusiness, port-related operations, government/military, tourism, entertainment production and more.
Coastal Georgia has a strong tradition in manufacturing, with companies like Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, JCB Heavy Construction Equipment, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, International Paper, Briggs & Stratton, Georgia Transformer, Orafol Americas, Georgia Pacific and Imperial Sugar, among others.
The largest with more than 10,000 employees is Gulfstream, the world’s premier business jet manufacturer and is the largest private employer in the Savannah MSA. The industry has grown steadily since 1967, when the company that evolved into Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. (Grumman Aircraft Engineering Co.) chose Savannah to develop the company’s newly developed civilian business aircraft.
Read how WTCSav partner,
D.J. Powers, succeeds in Coastal Georgia.
The presence of Gulfstream and other large aerospace companies like Boeing in Charleston, SC, Airbus in Mobile, AL and Embraer in Jacksonville, FL has led to the growth of a wide supplier network, with many service providers and suppliers choosing nearby locations for logistical reasons. There are more than 800 aerospace companies in Georgia and PwC ranked Georgia number one in Aerospace Manufacturer Attractiveness in 2017.
With the future in mind, the state of Georgia is already among the highest producers of aerospace graduates in the nation and the region continues to advance its infrastructure and educational options for those interested in a career in the field. In 2010, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University expanded in Savannah to offer aeronautical training and in the spring of 2012, Savannah Technical College broke ground on the Aviation Training Center, designed to develop high-level technicians for area jobs in aircraft assembly and maintenance.
The Savannah region has a number of shovel ready sites and available square footage ideally suited for advanced manufacturing operations, including nearly 7 million square feet of industrial space.
Georgia’s workforce development program, QuickStart, consistently is ranked number one by industry leaders, experts and publications. A part of the Technical CollegeSystem of Georgia, QuickStart’s expertise has been applied to the manufacturing industry in the Savannah area. Additionally, Savannah Technical College operates in five counties, offering many manufacturing focused certificate and degree programs.
Transportation and Logistics
The Port of Savannah is the fourth busiest and fastest growing port in the United States. As a major distribution hub to and from a 26-state region, Savannah’s port puts more than 80 percent of U.S. consumers within two days’ reach. This is made possible by immediate interstate access via Interstates 95 North/ South and 16 East/ West combined with Class I rail service from both Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation.
From an economic development perspective, Coastal Georgia is uniquely prepared for the growth of this industry with millions of square feet of industrial space that matches the needs of logistics providers and warehousing/ distribution centers.
Also significant to the port and logistics industry, Georgia is a Right to Work State and has the 4th lowest unionization participation rate in the country.
Georgia Agribusiness – The State’s $74.3 Billion Industry
Agribusiness companies can accelerate business growth, gain competitive advantage, and expand into global markets with access to incentive programs, smart tax breaks, research grants, angel investor networks and venture capital. As Georgia’s leading industry, a mature agricultural business infrastructure coupled with the resources of universities and other facilities enable agribusiness firms to take new products to market faster.
Not only is Georgia a leading producer of commodities like soybeans, peanuts, cotton, broilers and blueberries, but the state now has a thriving value-added products industry that includes wine, artisan cheeses and ice cream, Vidalia relishes, peach products and olive oil among other goods.