Governor Perdue, local leaders find power transformer plant brings re-energizing jolt to Georgia economy
ATLANTA, April 1-- EFACEC's power transformer manufacturing plant outside of Savannah looks to play a vital role in re-energizing the regional economy with a net state impact of $23.75 million and an additional Effingham county impact of $39 million by 2017 according to figures from the Georgia Department of Economic Development's Global Commerce Division. More than 1,500 workers, including skilled assembly workers, electrical engineering specialists, and suppliers will make a significant, permanent, and positive impact on the state and regional economy in the coming decade.
Despite economic turbulence since 2007, when the figures were calculated, actual growth is tracking closely with projections, which cover the period from 2008 through 2017. The figures are based on past and ongoing expenses, wages, taxes, population shifts, and the application of mathematical formulas to extrapolate future data.
"It's been an honor to grow our relationship with EFACEC over the last few years," said Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. "The company's economic impact will benefit Georgia citizens for many years beyond the scope of our original projections, and we look forward to working with the company as it continues to grow in our state."
The plant's arrival makes it the third largest employer in the region, behind the County Board of Education and the Georgia Pacific's Savannah River Mill (1,695 and 1,306 jobs, respectively). "We have seen the mitigating effects over the recession as the construction was underway," said John A. Henry, CEO of the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority.
He described a ripple effect through the economy that is being felt locally in hearts and minds as well as wallets.
"Our restaurants, apartment complexes, and retail establishments have already benefited greatly from this project. The visual impact of the facility as you drive along Highway 21 in the county is immense. It has been a source of pride and hope during the past 18 months or so. We have also seen reinvestment in local convenience stores, plans for new ones and a new grocery anchored development within two miles of the facility."
As the plant continues hiring aggressively, more than 400 employees are working steadily toward delivery of its first orders this April. "The high wage and high tech attributes of the project have really had the community talking and realizing the potential in the area," said Henry. "What EFACEC has done in the past 12 months for the morale of this community will never be superseded by any amount of revenue generation. Everyone knows someone who has been hired by the company."
Significantly, these jobs are providing re-training and re-employment for workers looking to gain skills relevant to the growing energy industry. President Obama recently made a jobs-focused visit to the Savannah Technical College (STC), from which EFACEC has been hiring workers from among those successfully completing a QuickStart supported industrial assembly class at STC's Effingham campus. Each month, several dozen job seekers complete the training program.
And EFACEC continues to hire, with the goal of adding 200 more workers by 2013, bringing the total at the plant to 624. With an additional 929 associated jobs statewide to support supply and distribution of products, the total state jobs figure should reach 1,535 by 2017.
Hear workers describe the impact of the jobs on their families' lives at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2gdKdsfe9A.
In addition to the jobs EFACEC is bringing to the state, the report also projects a ten year net state fiscal impact of $39 million for Effingham County and an additional $23.75 million statewide. Total impact figures for the next four years include $765,790 for 2010 and $1,415,270 for 2011. By 2013, with the plant at full production, revenue looks to top $50 million.
"The contribution EFACEC is making to Georgia's economy is a great example of the way international investment directly benefits the state," said Ken Stewart, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, which assisted EFACEC with its location. "We're proud that assets like our strong workforce, tremendous partnerships and easy access to global markets will provide value not only to the company and its customers, but to the economies of the region and the state."
"When the transformers ship to customers, the economic impact will expand beyond Georgia," noted Jorge Guerra, Executive Director of U.S. Business & Operations for the EFACEC Group. "As utilities across North America take advantage of the shipping and import expense savings available to them through this plant, the first new manufacturing plant of its type and scope in the United States."
Throughout its history, EFACEC has successfully adapted to changes in a highly competitive global marketplace. Combining an entrepreneurial flair and the capabilities of more than 4500 employees worldwide, EFACEC brings unsurpassed technological leadership to all of the markets that we serve -- energy, environmental services, transportation and logistics. With a presence in more than 65 countries and annual revenues in excess of $1.3 billion, EFACEC has positioned itself as one of the most highly respected technology companies in the world today.