Three Companies Named Georgia’s 2018 Manufacturers of the Year
Tuesday, April 17th, 2018
At a luncheon held Thursday, Gov. Nathan Deal named three of Georgia’s leading companies as the 2018 Manufacturers of the Year. Pratt & Whitney in Columbus, Ga., won in the category of 500 or more employees; NIBCO in Greensboro, Ga., won in the category of 150-500 employees; and, Alpharetta-based Metcam won in the category of 150 or fewer employees.
“These three companies represent the best we have to offer for manufacturing in the state of Georgia,” Gov. Deal said in his keynote address to the audience of more than 1,200 business and industry leaders attending the celebration at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park, Ga.
Gov. Deal highlighted Georgia’s robust manufacturing sector by arriving at the luncheon after attending a ceremony just hours earlier in Bainbridge, Ga., announcing the decision by Taurus USA to invest $22.5 million in new infrastructure and create 300 new jobs.
"I want to thank not only these three winning manufacturing companies, but those citizens who do the work at those companies,” Deal added. “They are also key to the success of Georgia leading the nation as the best state in the U.S. for doing business for the past five years running.”
The event was co-hosted by Commissioner Matt Arthur of the Technical College System of Georgia and Commissioner Pat Wilson of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. The luncheon was emceed by Richard Warner, veteran business journalist and commentator.
“I am honored to be able to accept this award today on behalf of Metcam,” said Bruce Hagenau, president of Metcam, a fabricator of sheet metal components and assemblies for OEMs. “Every day, Metcam’s dedicated employees strive to achieve our mission of highest quality products delivered on time.” He credited Quick Start and Lanier Technical College as key to developing a high-performance workforce.
“It is truly an honor to receive this award,” said Doug Purnell, plant manager of NIBCO’s Greensboro facility. NIBCO manufactures valves, fittings and flow control products for commercial and residential markets.
“More importantly, it’s an honor to be a part of the NIBCO team. In just a few years, this team has gone from being one of the best within the organization to being world class in the industry” with support from Quick Start and Athens Technical College, Purnell added.
The team accepting the award for Pratt & Whitney included Tom Bode, general manager of Pratt & Whitney’s Columbus Engine Center, and Elvin Dumas, the plant manager of the company’s Columbus Forge Disks operation. The company launched a 500-job expansion in February 2017, and Quick Start is currently completing a state-of-the-art training center at a Columbus Technical College facility to prepare the company’s expanding workforce.
“These are very exciting times for us to be part of Pratt & Whitney,” Bode said. “The most exciting part of this growth is the fact that these products will be developed in Georgia.”
After thanking the State of Georgia and local partners, Bode continued. “Our other great workforce partner is Georgia Quick Start,” he said. “They worked with us to revamp our training curriculum, help hire and on-board hundreds of new employees, and set up a truly world-class training center for new and existing employees.”
Dumas concluded, “The Quick Start training program, the curriculum and the training facility have far exceeded our expectations, and we are truly appreciative of the partnership.”
This is the 24th year celebrating Manufacturing Appreciation Week in Georgia. This year’s was sponsored by HA+W½Aprio, GaMEP (Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership), a part of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, Georgia Power and the Georgia Association of Manufacturers.
The event also included the presentation of scholarship awards to the 12 winning entries in the statewide MAW Student Design Contest. Thousands of students each year from three grade levels submit work to the contest, and four winners are picked from each category: K – 5th grade; 6th – 8th grade; and 9th – 12th grade. The contest promotes awareness of the importance of manufacturing to the students’ communities, and the potential for students to find fulfilling careers in that sector of the economy.