Effingham County is situated between the Ogeechee and Savannah Rivers just north of Georgia’s first City, Savannah. It is this prime location near rail, the Port of Savannah, and Interstates 95 and 16 that make Effingham County a logistical dream come true.
A conversation with Brandt Herndon, CEO, and Jessica Hood, Director of Economic Development and Existing Industry, from the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority
Tell us about Effingham County.
Effingham County is situated between the Ogeechee and Savannah Rivers just north of Georgia’s first City, Savannah. Effingham is steeped in tradition and heritage as one of Georgia’s original counties, yet progressive, keeping pace with the most modern amenities and solid planning. Effingham County boasts one of the fastest growth rates in the State of Georgia and maintains a hometown atmosphere with all the conveniences of a rural suburb.
Why is Effingham County a great location for business?
Effingham County benefits from a highly educated and skilled workforce. The region is home to more than 15 colleges and universities, and the age distribution of Effingham puts nearly 60% of the population within the prime working age ranges of 20-64.
Effingham is also home to a number of sites for manufacturing and distribution that utilize many available transportation networks available to the region. In addition to access to I-16 & I-95, class-1 rail lines, and the Port of Savannah, Effingham is within driving distance of three international airports in Savannah, Atlanta and Jacksonville.
What are the current business highlights in Effingham County?
Our development Partners at Chesterfield are breaking ground on a $500 million industrial park in Effingham County. It will be known as the Georgia International Trade Center and will house several warehouses that will be built over the next 10 years. It is projected to generate up to 3,000-5,000 new jobs for the community. We also have several other properties available through partnerships with Omnitrax, and our own industrial parks.
How did you learn about World Trade Center Savannah (WTCSav)?
We were among some of the first economic development partners that joined the World Trade Center Savannah.
Describe your experience with WTCSav.
We understand that a win for one county in our region is a win for us all, and WTCSav is a champion for entire Coastal Georgia region. While this team is new to Effingham County, we have many years of experience and strong track records in economic development in this region. We have worked with WTCSav and we have seen many examples of the strength of the partnerships. .
What advice do you have for other development authorities that are considering expanding through global markets?
One of our priorities is getting out and working with our existing industries to understand their needs. In many cases we will act as a connector and refer companies to the organizations that can best help them achieve their goals. For companies doing business globally, we’d refer them to the team at WTCSav to meet individually to understand their unique needs and challenges.
Tell us one thing about Effingham County that we might not know.
Effingham County is home to the oldest Austrian community on American soil. The first Salzburgers landed in Georgia after a two months trip across the Atlantic Ocean to escape religious persecution in their native country of Salzburg, presently known as Austria in 1734. March 12, 2018 marked the 284th anniversary of the landing of 37 Protestant families in Savannah, Georgia following their expulsion from Salzburg, Austria, by Prince-Archbishop Firmian. These Salzburgers settled in New Ebenezer, Georgia.
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