Gov. Sonny Perdue announced that both jobs and corporate investment increased in Georgia during the state’s fiscal year 2010 as a result of the marketing activities of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD). Companies invested $3.75 billion in communities around the state, a 46.7 percent increase from FY09, and created 19,462 jobs, an increase of 14.7 percent.
“The job and investment growth we have seen this year gives us faith that our economy is beginning to turn the corner,” said Gov. Perdue.
“However, these projects are only a beginning; there is still a great deal of work to do. We will continue to scour the globe to bring jobs to Georgia and cultivate our business environment to grow jobs with companies that are already here.”
The number of projects worked by GDEcD’s Global Commerce division also increased in FY10, from 327 to 335. Expansions of existing Georgia businesses accounted for 224 of these projects (67 percent) and created 70 percent of the total number of jobs and 66 percent of the total investment. Start-up companies and those investing in Georgia for the first time made up the other one-third of these projects.
Fifty-seven percent of GDEcD’s projects were located outside Georgia’s major metro areas of Atlanta, Macon, Savannah, Augusta and Columbus, and accounted for 51 percent of all new jobs announced. Sixty-nine investments, or 21 percent, were made by international companies, who created 4,424 jobs — 23 percent of the total — and $698 million in investment. Typically, foreign direct investment (fdi) projects create more jobs and investment.
Twelve projects representing 1,356 jobs and $723 million in investment were announced as a result of the department’s FY10 missions.
The Department of Economic Development’s regional project managers and industry teams collaborate on projects with multiple public and private partners. As a result of these partnerships, major companies like Pilgrim’s Pride, operated by JBS SA of Brazil, brought 1,400 food-processing jobs to Coffee County; Dendreon opened a 550-job pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Union City; Mitsubishi Power Systems sited a $320-million turbine facility on the state’s megasite in Pooler; and GE Energy is hiring 400 workers for its new smart grid facility in Cobb County.
Georgia’s Centers of Innovation play a key role in moving innovative small start-up companies onto a high-growth track. By the end of FY10, these centers had transitioned 84 of these companies, which typically create high-paying jobs, into viable, active projects, and had almost 200 more in the pipeline. These companies have the potential to create more than 30,000 jobs and invest $5.5 billion.
GDEcD’s International Trade Division reported an increase of 7 percent in the trade deals it assisted, with a total of 235 deals in 50 countries valued at $21.3 million. The division served 832 companies, up 12 percent from FY09.
Eighty-two percent of those companies have 100 employees or less, signifying the critical role trade plays in the growth of small- and medium-sized businesses. Sixty percent of these trade deals were assisted by the state’s 10 international offices, which also facilitate tourism for Georgia.
The department’s Film, Music and Digital Entertainment division had a banner year, thanks to the impact of 2008’s Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act, which catapulted the state into the nation’s top five for film production. Movies such as “The Last Song,” “The Conspirator,” “Hall Pass” and “The Lottery Ticket” and hit TV shows such as “Drop Dead Diva,” “Vampire Diaries” and “The Mo’Nique Show” used Georgia as their primary filming location during fiscal year 2010.
The total number of productions (a combined total of features, independent, and TV/episodic film, commercials, music videos and video game development) was 330 in FY10, with combined production budgets increasing from $647.6 million in FY09 to $744.3 million in FY10. Up to 70 percent of a feature film’s budget is typically spent in the jurisdiction in which it is filmed.
In addition, production activity kept more than 5,000 crew members and technicians working in 50-plus counties throughout the state.
Altogether, the industry’s economic impact in the state in FY10 came in at $1.33 billion, up from $1.1 billion the previous year.
As the fifth largest employer in the state, the travel industry plays a vital role within the state of Georgia. In 2009, tourism generated 212,200 jobs and $1.36 billion in state and local tax revenue.
The state attracted 689,000 international visitors, 9 percent more than the previous year and in contrast to a national decline of 6 percent, ranking Georgia second in the nation in international visitor growth.
At the close of the fiscal year 2010, hotel/motel occupancy in Georgia was up 4.2 percent from the year before, room revenues were up 4.3 percent, and room demand was up 7.6 percent.
Georgia’s 11 visitor information centers registered 10.96 million visitors in FY10 and made more than 28,000 room reservations resulting in hotel/motel revenues of $1.98 million.
The state’s consumer travel Web site, ExploreGeorgia.org, experienced a record traffic month in June 2010, recording 132,561 visits; 116,417 unique visitors; and 786,300 page views.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development is the state’s sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to
Georgia, and promoting the state as a location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development.
For more information, visit www.georgia.org.