Georgia Corporate Moves
Alcoa Expands Operations in Eastman
In May, Alcoa Architectural Products broke ground at the site of its 2,500-square-foot expansion project at the Eastman-Dodge County Industrial Park in Eastman, GA. Alcoa recently has hired nine new employees and plans to complete construction by summer’s end.
“The new office space will not only house our growing employee base, but will showcase our own Reynobond¨ product on the exterior,” says Jeff Jost, Alcoa’s general manager. The company’s Reynobond aluminum composite material was also used in building Home Depot’s headquarters in Atlanta and the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, in addition to numerous facilities around the world.
The Eastman expansion also will create the first “green” parking lot in Dodge County, GA. The lot will be made with an environmentally friendly porous pavement system called FilterPave, made of recycled plastic and glass.
Alcoa is Dodge County’s largest exporter of manufactured goods, representing more than 94% of the county’s exports handled by the Georgia Ports Authority. The Alcoa plant has more than doubled its business activity since 2003.
“When a Fortune 100 company continues to expand and invest here, it says something about what a great place Dodge County is to do business,” says F.J. “Josh” Fenn, president and CEO of Eastman-Dodge County Area Chamber of Commerce. “The project will also bring a new, modern look to the main entrance of the Eastman-Dodge County Industrial Park.”
Travelport Taps Atlanta for Corporate Headquarters
In early 2008, Travelport, a global distribution system (GDS) provider, announced plans to transform the Worldspan building in Atlanta, GA into its North American headquarters. The company will bring up to 200 jobs to the area by consolidating its operations in Rosemont, IL; Parsippany, NJ; and Denver, CO. Travelport expects to retain 325 jobs in the Atlanta metro area, while creating 100 jobs in Hapeville, GA, where it will expand its data center. The total investment for all of these projects is $33 million.
“The consolidation of our business into a North American GDS headquarters is a significant step in building upon synergies between our existing Galileo and recently acquired Worldspan GDS businesses,” says Gordon Wilson, CEO and president of Travelport GDS. “The state of Georgia, Cobb and Fulton counties, and the city of Atlanta have demonstrated strong support for our move. Atlanta has an excellent geographic position, continually growing international direct airline services, and a well-educated, technologically literate workforce.”
“Travelport’s decision to locate a division headquarters in Atlanta signals that our position as a hub in the travel and IT industries is second to none,” says Governor Sonny Perdue.
Hapeville Mayor Alan Hallman adds, “Our city enjoys the luxury of being the front door to Hartsfield Jackson International Airport and we benefit greatly from the economic activity generated by the airport.”
Travelport provides information and booking to online and offline travel agencies in 145 countries.
Combat Training Finds Solution in Stephens County
Combat Training Solutions (CTS), which manufactures simulated explosives for the military, announced in February that it plans to add more than 30 jobs and invest $1 million to expand in Stephens County, GA.
CTS has purchased a 6,000-square-foot building on nearly seven acres of land at the Meadowbrook Industrial Park. The company expects rapid growth as it continues to add to its product line and service offerings.
“Helping entrepreneurial companies expand is an important part of our mission,” says Ken Stewart, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “We are especially proud that Combat Training Solutions is not only growing our economy, but also supporting our troops.”
CTS, founded in 2005 in Stephens County, evolved from a recreational paintball company into a full-fledged defense contractor. With an extensive line of military and law enforcement training products, CTS’ products allow trainees to be in direct contact with explosion effects without injury. This unique feature is the driving reason for its extensive usage by U.S. and allied militaries around the world.
Lowndes: Home Depot’s Logistics Hub
Home Depot plans to have its new regional distribution center in Lowndes County, GA fully operational by the first quarter of 2009. Announced in March, plans for the center include a 657,600-square-foot distribution facility set on 89 acres in the Lake Park Industrial Park. The Atlanta-based home improvement company expects to create more than 400 new jobs in the Lowndes County area within 36 months.
Home Depot is expected to become Lake Park’s largest employer. Brad Lofton, executive director of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority, says that the facility’s opening will have a significant impact on the regional workforce, employing large numbers of people from southern Georgia and northern Florida. This announcement bolsters Lowndes County’s reputation as a logistics hub in the southeastern United States.
“Our strong business climate and strength in logistics continues to attract top-tier retailers like the Home Depot,” says Governor Sonny Perdue.
The distribution center is being developed by IDI, Inc., a top-ranked Atlanta-based developer specializing in providing strategically located warehouse and distribution facilities for Fortune 500 clients. The selected construction company is Catamount Constructors, also of Atlanta.