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October 23, 2017

Economic Development Leadership Council Highlights OTP Development

As economic development has been elevated to top of mind with the most recent corporate expansion headline news, the Metro Atlanta Chamber brought together regional and local business leadership to discuss the strengths of our region’s economy. MAC’s fourth quarter Economic Development Leadership Council meeting highlighted a few of the most recent industrial expansion projects, why companies are choosing to expand across the Atlanta region, and how traditional manufacturing/distribution organizations are attracting talent.

Chaired by Mike Sivewright, Atlanta region president, JLL, and led by MAC’s Vice President of Economic Development Gregg Simon, the council had a chance to discuss shared desire and vision that partners have across all regional levels in improving industry ecosystems. With access to talent and cost of doing business remaining two of our region’s strengths, it is important to note nearly half of the companies interested in expansion projects targeting our region are foreign investments strategically focused on being close to both suppliers and customers.

The fourth quarter meeting provided the chance to learn about the Cherokee Office of Economic Development’s most recent success around the 75 North Corridor, Wayfair’s strategy around global distribution and fulfillment and Acuity Brands Lighting’s transition to an IoT company attracting millennial talent.

Misti Whitfield Martin, president, Cherokee Office of Economic Development, focused on the success their region has had in the redevelopment of the Cherokee 75 Corporate Park and group efforts around recruiting global brands that include adidas, thyssenkrupp, Papa John’s Pizza, MSK Covertech, Inc. and Inalfa Roof Systems. These projects have triggered investments nearing $100 million, while creating more than 1,500 jobs in the Cherokee 75 Corporate Park.

The council then had a chance to hear from Greg Konicki, global distribution & fulfillment vice president, Wayfair, on how they have transformed the home buying experience by owning both technology and logistics behind their massive online presence that includes over eight million products and 81 percent brand awareness.  Earlier this year, Wayfair opened a fulfillment center in McDonough where they will employ over 300 people. 

In the theme of traditional manufacturing companies focused on innovation around supply chain and manufacturing, Daniel L. Goldblatt, senior vice president of human resources, Acuity Brands Lighting, spoke to the council on reshaping their organization to attract engineering talent to reshape their lighting fixture equipment to incorporate the latest IoT technology allowing customers to use lighting fixtures to gather data on consumers.

As 2017 comes to an end, we celebrated our successes in creating jobs throughout the region. The 2018 Economic Development Leadership Council meeting calendar will be released in early 2018. In the meantime, please visit our homepage for updates on all things Metro Atlanta Chamber.

If you have any questions on how your organization can engage with MAC, please reach out to Jack Murphy.