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Gulfstream named manufacturer of the year

POSTED: April 21, 2014 4:48 p.m.
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Gov. Nathan Deal presented Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation with the Georgia Manufacturer of the Year award in the large company category (more than 500 employees). Pictured from left: Chris Carr, commissioner, Georgia Department of Economic Development; Ron Jackson, commissioner, TCSG; Gov. Nathan Deal; and from Gulfstream, Larry Flynn, president; Mark Bennett; Jay Neely; Heidi Fedak; Mike Creo and Elyse Szala.

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ATLANTA — Gov. Nathan Deal presented Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation with the Georgia Manufacturer of the Year award in the large company category. A large company is considered to have more than 500 employees.

“Manufacturing represents a powerful piece of the Georgia mosaic, supplying our state with jobs and the world with goods,” said Gov. Deal during his keynote speech at the 20th annual Governor’s Awards Luncheon. “This is why I have made a point of supporting the manufacturers of our state.”

The company, which is headquartered in Savannah and has a manufacturing and service facility in Brunswick, won the award for its “commitment to employees, the community and the environment and its emphasis on education,” according to remarks read when the award was announced.

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. is the world’s leading manufacturer of technologically-advanced business-jet aircraft.

In 1967, production of Gulfstream jets moved to Savannah, where the company established its headquarters. The company has expanded repeatedly in Chatham County since then.

In 2006, the company began a $400 million expansion, creating 1,500 new jobs. A second $500 million expansion launched in 2010 has resulted in an additional 2,500 new jobs and counting. And this year, Gulfstream announced plans to expand its Brunswick facility and hire an additional 100 employees.

From a start-up with 100 initial employees, today Gulfstream employs more than 9,000 in Savannah and more than 200 in Brunswick.

Since Gulfstream arrived in the 1960s, the workforce has helped drive the company’s growth. Today, the performance of Gulfstream’s growing workforce is still essential to the company’s continuing success. Partnerships with Savannah Technical College, Altamaha Technical College and Georgia Quick Start have helped ensure that quality workforce.

“Many of those new employees come from right here in Georgia, thanks to the partnerships we have with educational institutions around the state as well as Georgia Quick Start, which has been our partner in workforce training for close to two decades,” said Larry Flynn, president of Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. “As I’ve always said, Gulfstream is a success because of two things: our people and our products. And that’s the absolute truth. We have some of the best employees in the world. And this honor belongs to each and every one of them.”

Three manufacturers are chosen each year in categories based on the size of their employment. The other award winners were Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas in Monroe (151-500 employees), and Tucker’s DD Food Solutions (150 or fewer employees).

The annual awards luncheon, held last week in Atlanta, is the highlight of Georgia Manufacturing Appreciation Week, which is co-hosted by the Technical College System of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

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