Apr. 7—ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp, in conjunction with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, announced Thursday that through the third quarter of Fiscal Year 2022 (July 1, 2021-March 31), job creation and investments resulting from economic development projects have already surpassed Fiscal Year 2021's year-end totals. These 251 project locations supported by GDEcD's Global Commerce team will result in the creation of more than 35,400 new jobs and $12.9 billion in investment for the state.
"We continue to reap the benefits of our measured approach to re-opening Georgia's economy, fighting for both lives and livelihoods during the pandemic," Kemp said in a news release. "These latest figures are another confirmation it was the right choice, and that Georgia continues to be the preferred place to do business.
"I'm grateful to all job creators who choose to locate or expand their operations in the Peach State, bringing opportunity to hard-working Georgians and investing in our communities across the entire state. We are excited to see such a variety of homegrown and global companies recognize the benefit of our strong partnership and pro-business approach, and I will continue to work hard every single day to strengthen Georgia's reputation as the best place to live, work, and raise a family."
The totals announced by Kemp account for a 48% increase in jobs compared to three-quarters through the previous fiscal year and for a 6% increase in jobs compared to the prior year's overall total. Additionally, there was a recorded increase of 54% in total investment compared to the same time period last year. Delivering on a promise he made to Georgians to strengthen economic opportunity in rural Georgia, nearly 78% of both projects and investments were outside the 10-county metro Atlanta area, and more than half of the jobs created were outside the 10-county metro Atlanta area.
Key industry sectors include automotive, advanced manufacturing, logistics and distribution, software and technology, and food processing. Over the past year, Georgia's electric vehicle (EV) and sustainability ecosystems have grown tremendously. Georgia is continuing to recruit the entire EV supply chain to ensure an effective, efficient and affordable environment for EV production.
In addition to the ongoing plans by Rivian to develop a $5 billion campus at Stanton Springs North and an electric vehicle service center in Atlanta that also will provide training on EVs, SK Battery America also has partnered with American lithium-ion battery recycling and engineered materials startup Ascend Elements to recycle both cell and module lithium-ion battery manufacturing scrap from SK's Jackson County facility.
Ascend announced its first commercial-scale battery recycling plant in Covington in January. Aurubis, one of the leading recyclers of copper, precious metals, and non-ferrous materials worldwide, will invest $340 million in a "first-of-its-kind in the U.S." state-of-the-art recycling and secondary smelting facility for multimetal recycling in Augusta. Recycling operations and partnerships like these are vital for the future of electric mobility.
In southeast Georgia, electrification solutions and sustainability leader Aspen Aerogels recently announced plans to locate its new 500,000-square-foot advanced manufacturing facility in Statesboro. The company will produce PyroThin materials, which provide thermal management, mechanical stability, and fire protection properties to EV battery systems, at their new home in the state.
This year also has proven to be productive for the life sciences industry in Georgia. In March, Moderna Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA therapeutics and vaccines, announced it will establish a new Enterprise Solutions Hub in Atlanta. Last August, Intuitive, a pioneer in robotic-assisted surgery and a global leader in minimally invasive care, announced it is expanding its Gwinnett County campus. These two projects represent a combined investment of more than 1,425 new jobs and $547.8 million.
The No. 1-ranking work force training program, Georgia Quick Start, helped secure numerous projects, including Pepsi Co.'s expansion in DeKalb County, Remington Firearms' world-class research and development center in LaGrange, and Titan Steel Doors' expansion in Hart County. These three projects alone represent 1,082 new jobs and $373 million in investment. For more than 40 years, Quick Start has provided specialized training tailored specifically to business needs. This unique program is administered through the Technical College System of Georgia.
The Georgia Ports Authority's deepwater and regional ports projects have played a key role in securing diverse projects, including Serena & Lily Inc.'s new facility in Effingham County. For the past 19 consecutive months, the GPA has been reporting record-breaking numbers as the port expedites plans for long-term growth. The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project was recently completed, deepening a 40-mile stretch between the port and the Atlantic Ocean. This joint state and federal project will accommodate super-sized freighters traveling from the expanded Panama Canal. Inland ports also are attracting investments, such as the Appalachian Regional Port driving Roper Corporation's decision to invest $118 million in expanding its facilities in Walker County.
Other assets driving Georgia's growth include Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and the state's extensive rail network. Additionally, the Georgia Department of Transportation maintains more than 1,200 miles of highway as part of Georgia's highway and interstate system, which connects companies to 80% of the country in two days or less of driving time. This system was integral to landing Ryder System Inc.'s new facility in Henry County that will create more than 250 new jobs.
"A drive to create hope and opportunities for Georgia communities is at the heart of the Department of Economic Development's mission," GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson said. "From targeting new strategic industries for growth to supporting existing businesses' expansions, we are dedicated to proving that Georgia is where companies want to be. Our state, regional, local, and community partners make these projects possible. We look forward to maintaining our current momentum through the end of the year, and we are excited to see what records we surpass next."