Chris Carr, Commissioner of the GA Dept. of Economic Development; Gretchen Corbin, Commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia; Governor Nathan Deal; Greg Orff, President and General Manager of Cives Steel; Lyn Busby, Operations Manager for Cives Steel; Jill Cavendar, Interim Human Resources Manager for Cives Steel; and Jeremy Russ, Shop Superintendent for Cives Steel
Atlanta, GA – April 22, 2016: Gov. Nathan Deal recently named three of Georgia’s leading companies as the 2016 Manufacturers of the Year. Caterpillar’s Building Product Division’s Athens facility won in the category of 500 or more employees; Suniva’s Norcross facility won in the category of 150-500 employees; and Thomasville, Ga.’s Cives Steel Company won in the category of 150 or fewer employees.
“The manufacturing arena is one that we take great pride in because it is one of those sustained elements of a state’s economy and of a nation’s economy,” said Gov. Deal. “In fact, we have seen some 511,200 new private sector jobs created in the state of Georgia [since 2011], and of that total, 40,600 of those have been in the manufacturing sector.”
“Congratulations to the winners, and to all of you who were in the running that may not receive the actual award, because you’re an important part of our economy as well,” Deal added.
Cives Steel, located in Thomasville, won in the small manufacturer category. “I’m proud to be here today to accept this award on behalf of all the people at Cives Steel Southern Division,” said Greg Orff, president and general manager of Cives Southern Division, upon receiving the award. “We truly appreciate the recognition as well as our partnership with Southern Regional Technical College. I really look forward to taking this award and this honor back to our employees, because they’re the ones who deserve this award.”
“Cives Steel Company Southern Division has been a leader of the manufacturing community in Thomas County for 35 years. The company manufactures quality steel products using innovative manufacturing processes and they are prodigious corporate and community partners in Thomasville/Thomas County. This is the first time a company located in this community has won the Manufacturer of the Year Award and I congratulate Cives Steel Company Southern Division on this extraordinary honor,” commented Dennis Lee, SRTC Vice President for Economic Development.
Athens’ Caterpillar won in the large manufacturer category. “Caterpillar is honored to be recognized by Governor Deal of the great state of Georgia as large manufacturer of the year,” said Todd Henry, head of operations at Caterpillar. “From our first meeting with the State Economic Development team and subsequent meetings with leaders from Athens-Clark County, Oconee County, Athens Technical College and Georgia Quick Start, we quickly formed great partnerships and wonderful working relationships that have endured the test of time and paved the way forward for a very rapid and successful ramp-up of the Athens facility.”
Suniva, a world leader in solar cell technology which got its start at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, won Manufacturer of the Year in the category of companies with 150-500 employees. Accepting the award for Suniva was Paul Schneider, vice president of plant operations in Norcross, who commented, “This is a great honor, and we share it with our employees and all the supporting organizations such as Georgia Tech, Gwinnett Technical College and Quick Start who were critical to our startup and our ongoing success.”
The 2016 Governor’s Awards Luncheon, which was held at the Georgia International Convention Center on April 21, marks the 22nd year celebrating Manufacturing Appreciation Week in Georgia. The annual awards luncheon 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. Sponsoring the event were Georgia Power, the accounting and consulting firm of Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, Georgia Tech’s Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and the Georgia Association of Manufacturers.
The event also included the presentation of scholarship awards to the winning entries in the annual MAW Student Design Contest, which promotes awareness of careers in manufacturing and the importance of that sector to the state and national economies.
In his proclamation declaring April 18-22 as Manufacturing Appreciation Week, Gov. Deal noted the tremendous contribution manufacturing makes to the state’s economic well-being. Nearly 9,456 manufacturing facilities are located in Georgia, according to the proclamation, and they provide 364,724 jobs, generating nearly $20.1 billion in wages for Georgia’s citizens and contributing more than $100 billion to the state’s economy each year.
The three winning companies were nominated by business and civic leaders and chosen for their excellence and contributions to the state’s economy and their respective local communities.