Georgia is a national leader in advanced manufacturing, outpacing the U.S in 10-year GDP growth in the manufacture of products including machinery, electrical equipment & components, and fabricated metals. Our strength across multiple sectors results in a $61.1 billion output, and an abundant workforce of approximately 270,000 production workers.
Georgia’s Governors and the General Assembly have a long history of supporting businesses in the state by passing bi-partisan legislation that is business-friendly, and stopping legislation viewed as an impediment to business success in the state. It is no mistake that Site Selection and Area Development have both named Georgia as the best state in the country to do business – for six years in a row. And for each of those years, Area Development also ranked Georgia No. 1 for Cooperative & Responsive State Government.
In addition to being a right-to-work state, with low unionization rates (2.5%), our quality workforce is one reason why companies in automotive, machinery, and plastics industries are experiencing high job growth. Whether you are looking for engineering talent to further innovation in products or processes, or a skilled labor force to work on the plant floor, Georgia has the existing and future workforce to fulfill your hiring needs.
Some programs in place to meet the needs of advanced manufacturing companies are:
Georgia University System – including top ranked Georgia Tech– has degree programs in engineering and business fields of study to meet your hiring needs. Georgia Tech is highly ranked as one of the best engineering programs by U.S. News and World Report.
The Technical College System of Georgia offers a wide range of skills training for manufacturing for both certificates and two-year degrees in jobs that are increasingly dependent on rapidly advancing technologies. In recent years, technical colleges have expanded their apprenticeship and internship programs, which combine formal education with on-the-job training. Georgia also recently launched the Hope Career Grant initiative which pays up to 100% of a student's tuition in high-demand fields including:
- Industrial Maintenance
- Welding and Joining
- Precision manufacturing
- Aviation technology
- Computer technology
When qualifying companies start up or expand manufacturing operations in the state, Georgia Quick Start, supports them by designing and delivering training that is customized to your company's unique processes, procedures, and standards. Currently Georgia Quick Start, ranked No. 1 by Area Development Magazine, is building a new training center dedicated to advanced manufacturing. The 48,000 sq-ft. center will be networked with five of the state’s technical colleges in the region, and focus on training in:
- Control systems
- Automation and robots
- Networked wireless systems of sensors.
Georgia is home to many companies with a history of innovation that has impacted their industries, and in some cases, the entire world.
- Gulfstream introduced the world to the purpose-built aircraft, and was the first business jet to fly nonstop from the U.S. to Europe
- The Coca-Cola Company forever changed the face of the soda fountain when they introduced their new freestyle machine
- Southwire is the only full product supplier to manufacture both the cable and conduit, and developed the SIMpull® Solutions® which increases job safety, productivity, and profitability
Many companies have also chosen Georgia as the place to set-up their innovation centers. These companies were drawn to Georgia thanks to its advanced workforce in computer science and engineering fields of study, and incentives like the State’s R&D Tax Credit which allows the companies’ eligible R&D expenditures to be monetized in the form of claimed, unused credits applied to state payroll withholding.
We understand that a successful manufacturing operation depends on a reliable system for moving supplies in, and shipping products out. The state’s robust transportation system supports manufacturers with a variety of efficient logistic operation options. Companies in Georgia have access to:
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest and most efficient airport, is the 13th largest air cargo hub in North America and one of the largest air cargo hubs in North America
- The Port of Savannah is the largest single container terminal in North America and features
- Two Class 1 railroads - located on terminal - Norfolk Southern and CSX
- High-speed truck route runs directly from the terminal to I-95 (eastern seaboard) and I-16 (to Atlanta and beyond)
- Georgia’s railroads work hand-in-hand with our seaports, and the $126.7 million Mason Mega Rail Terminal Project now underway will improve the efficiency of both. The project will double the annual rail capacity of the Port of Savannah to 1 million container lifts. By 2020, the Port of Savannah will host the largest on-terminal rail facility in all of North America
- Cordele Inland Port gives exporters and importers in southwest Georgia, southern Alabama and western Florida a direct 200-mile rail route from Cordele to Georgia’s ports on the Atlantic coast
- Appalachian Regional Port provides exclusive CSX rail service on a direct, 388-mile rail route between the Port of Savannah and companies in northwest Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky
Georgia manufacturers received a tax break in 2018, when the Governor signed into law the first corporate income tax rate reduction in 50 years, with a new rate of 5.75% in effect January 2019. Parts suppliers, metal fabricators, and other manufacturers save on taxes by locating here, especially when their customer base is mainly outside of Georgia; Georgia's single factor apportionment approach to determining how much income is taxed means that companies with zero sales in the state consistently have zero Georgia corporate income tax liability.
Georgia also offers tax credits for job creation, increased port activity, and R&D activity in the state. Georgia’s manufacturers benefit from a big operating-cost reduction with the State’s exemption on sales and use taxes for a wide-range of energy forms used in the manufacturing process (the state passed a full exemption except for the typically 1% dedicated to education). Georgia also saves its manufacturers on the full sales and use tax for the purchase of equipment, machinery, repair parts, materials, packaging and other items defined by law, as long as they are necessary and integral to the manufacturing process.
Explore information, resources and opportunities for starting, growing or financing your small business in Georgia.
Expanding your company’s footprint in Georgia is made easier with our team of experts located in 12 regions around the state.
Connect with Georgia’s international trade team for customized export assistance and international opportunities to grow your Georgia business.
The state’s leading resource for facilitating business innovation, we help companies translate new ideas and technologies into commercially viable products and services.