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Governor says jobs, investment increases

POSTED: August 20, 2010 10:08 a.m.
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Gov. Sonny Perdue

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ATLANTA — Gov. Sonny Perdue announced this week that both jobs and corporate investment increased in Georgia during the state’s fiscal year 2010 as a result of the marketing activities of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Companies invested $3.75 billion in communities around the state, a 46.7 percent increase from 2009, and created 19,462 jobs, an increase of 14.7 percent.
“The job and investment growth we have seen this year gives us faith that our economy is beginning to turn the corner,” Perdue said. “However, these projects are only a beginning. There is still a great deal of work to do. We will continue to scour the globe to bring jobs to Georgia and cultivate our business environment to grow jobs with companies that are already here.”
The number of projects worked by GDEcD’s global commerce division also increased from 327 to 335 in fiscal year 2010. Expansions of existing Georgia businesses accounted for 224 of these projects (67 percent) and created 70 percent of the total number of jobs and 66 percent of the total investment. Start-up companies and those investing in Georgia for the first time made up the other one-third of these projects.
Fifty-seven percent of GDEcD’s projects were outside Georgia’s major metro areas of Atlanta, Macon, Savannah, Augusta and Columbus, and accounted for 51 percent of all new jobs announced. Sixty-nine investments, or 21 percent, were made by international companies, who created 4,424 jobs — 23 percent of the total — and $698 million in investment. Typically, foreign direct investment projects create more jobs and investment. Twelve projects representing 1,356 jobs and $723 million in investment were announced as a result of the department’s 2010 missions.
The Department of Economic Development’s regional project managers and industry teams collaborate on projects with multiple public and private partners. As a result of these partnerships, major companies like Pilgrim’s Pride, operated by JBS SA of Brazil, brought 1,400 food-processing jobs to Coffee County. Dendreon opened a 550-job pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Union City. Mitsubishi Power Systems sited a $320 million turbine facility on the state’s megasite in Pooler, and GE Energy is hiring 400 workers for its new smart grid facility in Cobb County.
Georgia’s centers of innovation play a key role in moving innovative small start-up companies onto a high-growth track. By the end of fiscal year 2010, these centers had transitioned 84 of these companies, which typically create high-paying jobs, into viable, active projects and had almost 200 more in the pipeline. These companies have the potential to create more than 30,000 jobs and invest $5.5 billion.
GDEcD’s international trade division reported an increase of seven percent in the trade deals it assisted, with a total of 235 deals in 50 countries valued at $21.3 million. The division served 832 companies, up 12 percent from fiscal year 2009. Eighty-two percent of those companies have 100 employees or fewer, signifying the critical role trade plays in the growth of small- and medium-sized businesses. Sixty percent of these trade deals were assisted by the state’s 10 international offices, which also facilitate foreign direct investment and tourism for Georgia.

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