Developer interest strong in Coweta this summer
Business project activity has remained strong for Coweta over the summer, Coweta County Development Authority President Greg Wright told authority members at Thursday’s meeting.
Wright cited numerous developments, including a very positive response from Canadian manufacturing company representatives who were shown a specific building for their purpose, along with a visit from a European auto supplier currently considering several areas throughout the southeast for a new facility.
The Quebec Government Office in Atlanta is planning a trade mission for Canadian companies to visit Georgia, and authority assistant Brenda Washington is working to assist them in meeting with a company in Coweta.
The vacancy rate for industrial buildings in the metro Atlanta market continues to drop, as does the vacancy rate here in Coweta County, Wright said, citing a vacancy rate of 4 to 6 percent range for industrial.
National Manufacturing Day is set for Oct. 4 and seeks to create focus on manufacturing and the skilled labor needs of today’s industries. On Oct. 4, school systems will be identifying teachers to take to West Georgia Technical College and for a tour of Grenzebach Corporation in Shenandoah Industrial Park in order to address what jobs are available and what skills are necessary for success.
There will be a roundtable discussion with teachers to sit down and talk to the industry leaders about what they’re seeing and how teachers can spread the message of today’s manufacturing environment.
Also at Thursday’s meeting, Larry Alford, director of the Georgia Tech Lean Consortium, elaborated: “At the end of the day, when you look across the nation, what most communities are doing is just setting up tours. But I’m proud to say that Coweta County is taking this to a much higher level and trying to create a connection between industry and education.”
“That’s what seems to be most needed, not only for work-based learning opportunities but for understanding each other’s needs and how they can work together to address them,” Alford said. “This should not only be a nice event but create some relationships that matter going forward.”
Jeff Lamb was present and represented the Georgia District Export Council, a group that helps teach companies how to export.
Lamb presented a report from the Boston consulting group Made In America, which finds that, by 2016, if a company is making a product for the North American market, the advantage of making the same product in China will have essentially disappeared due to Chinese wage increases.
“We can expect to see a real renaissance in North American manufacturing and exporting,” said Lamb.
Speaking to the official ribbon cutting of West Georgia Technical College’s new Coweta campus on Sept. 20, Terrin Alford praised the new campus, which is already under way for the fall semester with 1,300 students enrolled currently.
Authority Vice Chairman David Brown added, “It’s the greatest thing that ever happened to our county to complete our educational process. You just can’t leave out those people that didn’t have a car to go to Carrollton or Waco or Griffin.”
“In the long run it helps us with our job skills, it helps us recruit industry and the overall community will move upward due to our technical college. It completes the circle of education,” Brown said. “We’ve got great public schools, private schools, colleges and now we can help the group of people that either dropped out or needed to come up with a new job skill.
“It will be a great economic boost to our town. I think we have the greatest county in the country for the future and the technical college finished it. Our great medical resources, our proximity to a major metropolitan area, we don’t have to worry about water, we’ve got it stored. It just all fell into place.”