Governor Deal has a few more ribbons to cut before he leaves the big house on West Paces Ferry Road.
Today, the Governor announced Wayfair, the online home goods retailer, will build out a major distribution facility in Savannah, creating 1,000 jobs. Yesterday, the announcement was that Korean manufacturer SK Innovation will locate a battery manufacturing plant in Jackson County, creating 2,000 manufacturing jobs with a $1.7 Billion capital investment.
If anyone is still wringing their hands over not landing Amazon HQ2, a couple of thoughts: Amazon was to locate 5,000 jobs per year over 10 years if once city landed all of HQ2. That prize was ultimately split 3 ways.
Georgia landed 3,000 jobs this week, and neither company is locating in metro Atlanta. Accept this as another overt reminder that Georgia’s Department of Economic Development works in all corners of this state.
Amazon made it’s own decision. Georgia clearly isn’t letting grass grow under its feet, and remains attractive for companies that want low taxes, a trained workforce, high quality of life, and access to a world class logistics system.
Congrats to Governor Deal and the state’s entire Economic Development team on bringing 3,000 new jobs to the state.
From the SK Innovation press release:
Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that SK innovation, a developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for hybrid electric vehicles, is estimated to create more than 2,000 jobs and invest $1.67 billion in a new manufacturing plant in Jackson County in the long term.
“As the No. 1 state for business six times over, Georgia continues to maintain strong partnerships with Korean businesses and international industry leaders that lead to real results,” said Deal. “SK innovation’s decision to make this significant investment and create more than 2,000 jobs in Jackson County reflects Georgia’s reputation as a top destination for international businesses, especially those in the automotive supply sector. By choosing Georgia, SK innovation will have access to our skilled workforce and extensive manufacturing resources, while also joining a number of other Korean-affiliated companies that operate manufacturing facilities across the state. We appreciate SK innovation’s investment in the Jackson County community and look forward to the company’s success long into the future.”
The proposed manufacturing plant will be constructed in two phases: each phase will add approximately 1,000,000 square feet of manufacturing space and include the hiring of more than 1,000 advanced manufacturing employees.
“SK innovation has been actively looking for a production base to secure competitiveness in the battery business in the major global market,” said Kim Jun, chief executive of SK innovation. “With our business in the hub of the global auto industry, we will grow as a top player in the battery business.”
Deal and Gov.-elect Brian Kemp met with SK innovation together last week to express Georgia’s current and future commitment to work closely with the company as it creates the largest single investment and job-creating project announced in the state’s history.
“SK innovation is a world-class company and a leader in the energy, petrochemical and lubricants industries,” said Jackson County Development Authority (JCDA) Director of Economic Development John Scott. “Jackson County, GA, is centrally located in the Southeast United States’ growing automotive industry and we’re excited that companies like SK innovation are taking advantage of our strategic location. Working with SK innovation has been a great experience and we’re very excited to welcome them to the Jackson County family.”
SK innovation is a part of the SK Group, one of the largest conglomerates in South Korea. The company employs more than 6,500 individuals worldwide. Customers for SK innovation’s battery business include Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai-Kia Motors.
Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Senior Project Manager Yoonie Kim represented the Global Commerce Division in partnership with JCDA and Georgia Power.
“SK Group was among the first Korean investors in Georgia, and has a longstanding history in our state,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Georgia works in aggressive ways to ensure companies like SK innovation have the best resources necessary for them to find success. The more than 2,000 jobs they are creating will be supported by a highly skilled workforce, and by opening its new plant in Jackson County, SK innovation reaffirms its commitment to the people and communities of Georgia. We look forward to partnering on future opportunities as the company continues to grow in our state.”
About SK innovation Co., Ltd
Established in 1962 as South Korea’s first oil refining company, SK innovation engages in diverse areas of business, including exploration and production (E&P), batteries, and information and electronics materials. It owns SK Energy, South Korea’s top refining company, SK Global Chemical, SK Lubricants, SK Incheon Petrochem and SK Trading International. As part of its management system, SK innovation pursues the maximization of happiness for all stakeholders and recognizes the importance of social enterprise, a way to create social values through business.
From the Wayfair press release:
Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that Wayfair Inc., one of the world’s largest online destinations for the home, will create 1,000 jobs and open a new 1,164,800-square-foot facility in Savannah. New jobs will include supervisory, administrative and warehouse positions. Wayfair and its landlord plan to invest approximately $45 million in the project over the next five years.
“As the gateway to the Southeastern market and beyond, Georgia continues to attract and retain industry leaders such as Wayfair as they look to expand operations,” said Deal. “By establishing this new facility in Savannah, it’s clear that Wayfair’s leadership recognizes the strength of our workforce, as well as our dedication to preserving Georgia’s top-ranked and nationally recognized business climate. Georgia’s high-performing transportation infrastructure and strategic resources, including our world-class ports system, will help Wayfair expand its distribution network and support the company’s plans for long-term growth. We appreciate Wayfair’s commitment to creating even more jobs here in Georgia and look forward to further strengthening this partnership.”
Headquartered in Boston, Wayfair operates offices and warehouses throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. Wayfair currently operates a warehouse and distribution center in McDonough.
“We are excited to expand our team in the State of Georgia as we continue to scale our logistics operations to support the rapid growth of our business,” said James Savarese, chief operating officer of Wayfair. “The State of Georgia and the Savannah Economic Development Authority have been great partners to us. We look forward to contributing to economic development in the region with the creation of 1,000 new jobs and the opening of a new, state-of-the-art facility in Savannah.”
Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Senior Project Manager Alyce Thornhill represented the Global Commerce Division in partnership with the Savannah Economic Development Authority, Georgia Quick Start and the Georgia Ports Authority.
“We would like to thank the Wayfair team for their decision to bring this exciting new development to Savannah,” said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch. “For Georgia and Georgia’s ports, this will mean new jobs, additional cargo, and the opportunity to bring better service to Wayfair’s customers across the Southeast and the nation. The Port of Savannah provides fast, reliable and cost-effective access to this growing demographic that is increasingly reliant on e-commerce.”
“Wayfair’s commitment to Georgia over the years speaks to our state’s pro-business climate and top-notch workforce,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “From Henry County to Chatham County, Wayfair has been an incredible corporate citizen, and I am excited about the 1,000 jobs it plans to bring to the Savannah community.”
“Wayfair’s announcement of 1,000 job opportunities will make a profound impact for the Savannah region,” said Trip Tollison, president and CEO of the Savannah Economic Development Authority. “E-commerce distribution is one of the fastest growing industries in the country and having such a significant announcement of this size as one of our largest e-commerce facilities is exciting. I would be remiss if we did not thank Chatham County voters who most recently approved the Freeport Exemption for e-commerce facilities which will make Chatham County a more attractive location for e-commerce companies.”