The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), tasked by Governor Nathan Deal, strives to create quality job and investment opportunities throughout the state. With this ultimate goal at the helm of the state’s economic development efforts, GDEcD uses an integrated approach. Not only does the state recruit traditional industrial development that is essential to the economy; Georgia welcomes millions of visitors who are traveling from around the world to explore this great state; support a thriving and record-breaking entertainment industry; provide Georgia companies with the resources to grow and reach new international markets; work with Georgia businesses, universities and technical colleges and communities to establish a strong workforce infrastructure; and support a thriving arts and cultural scene.
For the third consecutive year – Site Selection magazine ranked Georgia’s business climate #1. Since Governor Deal took office in January 2011, GDEcD has announced 1,946 projects – these announcements helped create a total of 141,728 jobs and more than $25 billion in investment. Overall project activity is strong and the pipeline continues to grow with good, quality prospects.
A few emerging industry sectors:
- Fin Tech – seventy percent of all financial transactions that occur in the United States are processed through systems operated by Georgia-based FinTech corporations, giving way to industry nick-name “Transaction Alley.” Georgia FinTech companies generate annual revenue of more than $72 billion, placing the state third in the nation, behind only New York and California where the cost of doing business is much higher. Additionally, some 100 FinTech companies are headquartered or have significant presence in Georgia with six of the ten largest U.S. payment processing firms based in the state of Georgia.
- Cyber Security – Georgia leads the nation in the Information Security industry in terms of research, talent and the number of data centers. More than twenty-five percent of the worldwide security revenue market share is generated by companies in Georgia, and Georgia is home to more than 115 information security companies.
- Health IT – The Health Information Technology (HIT) sector in Georgia also leads the nation with more than 225 companies and approximately 30,000 jobs.
- Headquarters – Georgia is now home to twenty Fortune 500 and thirty-one Fortune 1000 headquarters.
In February, Governor Deal released the state’s 2015 International Trade data: For the 6th consecutive year – Georgia had a record-setting year for international trade in 2015. Georgia is ranked the 11th largest exporting state and 7th largest importing state. Georgia led the nation in the export of chemical woodpulp, poultry, kraft paper and paperboard, carpets, Kaolin and chemical products such as insecticides. The top export industries were aircraft/spacecraft, non-electric machinery, non-railway vehicles, electrical machinery and paper/paperboard, making up fifty-six percent of Georgia’s total exports. Canada remains Georgia’s largest export partner, followed by Mexico, China, the United Kingdom and Germany.
Centers of Innovation
Georgia’s Centers of Innovation are an integral part of the state’s economic development efforts. They assist companies by making connections to a number of resources that either the university system, business community, or government agencies have access to.
The six Centers are exclusive to Georgia and cover six strategic industries: Aerospace, Agribusiness, Energy Technology, Information Technology, Logistics and Manufacturing.
The 2016 Georgia Logistics Summit was held in April. Each year, some 2,000 logistics professionals attend Georgia’s unparalleled logistics event, to learn best practices and connect with colleagues and decision-makers in the industry; making it one of the largest logistics events in the country.
Georgia’s workforce division is playing a key role in ensuring a talented and prepared workforce for the future. Programs include:
- Operation Workforce – helps to find Veterans who are entering the civilian workforce jobs.
- Georgia WorkSmart – the state’s work-based learning initiative offering companies a menu of employment training options, tailored to their specific workforce needs.
- Go Build Georgia – promoting skilled trade jobs to high school students, their parents and counselors.
Tourism is a vital driver of Georgia’s economy – in almost every community in Georgia. 2015 was another record-breaking year for the tourism industry generating $57.1 billion in economic impact – up 6.7 percent from last year. Just over 10.2 percent of the state’s payroll workforce are employed by the tourism industry with more than 425,000 jobs.
Georgia Tourism is currently celebrating the “Year of Georgia Music.” It’s an opportunity to focus on Georgia artists, music festival, destinations and concert venues.
Film and TV
Georgia is one of the fastest-growing entertainment production centers in the U.S. The state is ranked #3 in the U.S. and #5 in the world; Georgia-made feature films and television productions generated an economic impact of more than $6 billion during fiscal year 2015.
And, the impact goes beyond the production themselves employing thousands of Georgians – with more than fifteen new soundstages land in Georgia and more than 100 support service businesses open since 2008.
Georgia Council for the Arts
Georgia’s creative industry represents 4.7 percent of the state’s employment – generating $48 billion in annual business revenue.
Being able to provide a company and its employees a good quality of life and access to diverse cultural opportunities is essential to maintaining Georgia’s top-notch status.
Whether it is through our Arts, Centers of Innovation, Film, Global Commerce, International Relations, International Trade, Marketing and Communications, Tourism or Workforce divisions, the state looks forward to continuing to work with statewide partners and private sectors to maintain a reputation as a leader in the global marketplace and to generate long-term benefits for Georgians. The state offers a variety of resources to meet company’s unique needs in the attempt to keep Georgia at the forefront of everyone’s mind. To learn more about what the state has to offer, visit Georgia.org.
Visit http://www.expansionsolutionsmagazine.com/georgia_ed for local economic development office directory listings.