Fayette poised for growth in 2018

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Fayette County Development Authority President Joan Young.
Fayette County Development Authority President Joan Young.

Growth, expansions in local industries added 176 jobs

Fayette County Development Authority (FCDA) President Joan Young (photo above) believes the authority actions that began in 2015 have led to significant increases in development into 2017, with 2018 poised for opportunities in business support and recruitment.

“Fayette County experienced significant economic growth this past year with both new company relocations and existing industry expansions,” said Young. “Growth in the industry base is key, because it creates community wealth with capital investment and job creation.”

In 2017, two companies announced plans to grow their business in Fayette County. Japan-based Rinnai Corp., the industry leader in tankless water heaters, will invest $21 million to expand its North American Headquarters in Peachtree City and will create over 50 jobs. In late June, Czech-based Silon, a leading producer of technical compounds, announced plans to invest $20 million in a manufacturing facility and create 26 jobs, Young said.

Fayette’s existing business are growing as well, according to the FCDA, which leads economic development efforts for the county. Six existing companies announced expansions in 2017, contributing $92 million in capital investment and 176 jobs.

“Looking ahead, the Fayette County Development Authority sees many opportunities with supporting existing businesses, recruiting high-quality projects that are well-suited for the community, and identifying new land to market,” Young said.

Young said FCDA’s aggressive recruitment strategy targets projects in six key industry sectors. Those include Film/New Media, IT, Life Sciences, Aerospace, Advanced Manufacturing and Corporate Headquarters.

“Increased global competition, changing markets and capital availability require more competitive, customized and focused recruitment and business solution strategies that benefit both the company and community,” said Young.

Young said other main priorities in 2018 include hosting Developers Day, which showcases quality of life and sites in Fayette County, and providing Economic Development Training 3.0 for local leadership.

Young said budget challenges in 2015 led to the implementation of a new budget formula in 2016, and with cities and the county paying $4.25/per capita for a total budget of $471,943. Product development, a marketing/branding initiative and identifying and promoting sites followed in 2017.

“Existing industry is healthy and doing well,” Young said, adding that most of the county’s industrial businesses are located in Peachtree City.

Young said the efforts in previous years paid off in 2016 and 2017. FCDA data showed:

• In 2015 —

Projects Worked (as prospects): four totaling $95 million in investment and 860 jobs.

Projects Announcements: two (Wencor and Osmose) with over $8 million in investment and 360 jobs.

• In 2016 —

Projects Worked (as prospects): nine totaling $169 million in investment and 1,034 jobs.

Existing Industry Expansions: one (Sigvaris) totaling $5 million in investment and 27 jobs.

• In 2017 —

Projects Worked (as prospects): 23 totaling $2.6 billion in investment and 1,371 jobs.

Project Announcements: two (Rinnai and Silon) totaling $41 million in investment and 76 jobs.

Existing Industry Expansions: six (NAECO, Interfor and Pinewood Atlanta Studios, Calpis, Panasonic and Gerresheimer) totaling $92.5 million and 176 jobs.