Valdosta, Georgia—In recognition of the importance of the manufacturing industry, Lowndes County Commission Chairman Bill Slaughter and Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson signed a proclamation recognizing October 11-15, 2021, as “Manufacturing Week” in Valdosta and County Lowndes.
The proclamation was signed in conjunction with National Manufacturing Day, which takes place each year on the first Friday in October, and encourages residents to discover the value manufacturing brings to the economy of Valdosta and Lowndes County.
Manufacturing in the United States employs more than 12 million people and represents a large industrial sector that includes agro-industry, food processing, chemicals, textiles, machinery and equipment. The simple definition of manufacturing is to transform the raw material into a finished product either by manual or mechanical operation.
From the packaged foods we eat and the clothes we wear, to the electronics and appliances in our homes and the cars we drive, US manufacturing accounts for more than $ 2.3 billion in total output. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, for every $ 1 spent on manufacturing, another $ 2.74 is added to the economy.
Studies show that the United States will need 4 million advanced manufacturing jobs over the next 10 years. However, to reach that massive number requires rethinking how most Americans view modern manufacturing as a career choice.
“Manufacturing Week gives us the opportunity to celebrate and highlight the importance of the industry to our community,” said Brad Folsom, president of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority (VLCDA). “It also allows us to encourage high school students to be part of the next generation of manufacturers. “
In Valdosta and Lowndes County, the manufacturing industry employs approximately 4,000 people.
“Valdosta’s strategic location, along with a strong logistics infrastructure and supply chain, provide our manufacturing industries with the ability to move products quickly and efficiently,” said Andrea Schruijer, Executive Director of VLCDA. “It’s a big plus, it helps our existing manufacturers grow and allows us to recruit new industries into the community. “
In 2020, despite the COVID pandemic, Valdosta in Lowndes County marked 13 industrial projects, both new and existing, representing $ 31 million in capital investment and 215 new jobs.
Schruijer said that the growth of the industry continues on an upward trend. In the first half of 2021, the VLCDA completed six industrial projects, representing $ 92 million in capital investments and around 200 jobs.
Companies like Archer Daniels Midland, CJB Industries, Saft America, South Georgia Pecan and Steeda Manufacturing, along with newcomers Arglass Yamamura, Supreme Boats and Bimbo QSR, are integral to Lowndes County’s viable manufacturing landscape.
Arglass, which specializes in the production of glass containers used primarily in the spirits, wine, and food and beverage industry, completed its $ 123 million plant at the end of 2020 and continues to hire skilled workers. In addition, TSCC Valdosta Packaging and SRI Ohio, a decorative glass company, co-located at the Arglass site, together generating 40 new jobs.
This year, Supreme Boats, which is part of Correct Craft, announced the creation of 90 jobs and an investment of $ 1.7 million to open a factory to manufacture wakeboard and wakeboard boats.
Bimbo QSR, a subsidiary of Mexican multinational Grupo Bimbo, announced a $ 25 million investment to modernize an existing 100,000 square foot speculative building in the Westside Business Park, creating around 75 new jobs.
About the Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority
The Development Authority is an organization that oversees the industrial and economic development of Valdosta and Lowndes County. In 1960, the Authority was established as an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Georgia. The mission of the Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority is to create an environment to attract new industries and promote the growth of existing industry to stimulate job creation and capital investment.