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The Georgia Manufacturing Alliance: Providing a Competitive Advantage to Manufacturers

by: Smith and Howard

August 3, 2015

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Manufacturing is one of brightest spots in our nation’s economic recovery. The low cost of natural gas, the increase in overseas material and shipping costs and the growing concern over product quality are all contributing factors to the upswing in manufacturing jobs.

Georgia stands to profit from these trends. In fact, recent economic forecasts show a reversal of the manufacturing job loss of past years. Yet, as companies look to relocate back to the U.S., our region will have to be ready. To be competitive, the manufacturing sector will need to support a highly skilled workforce that is well-trained, educated and technologically advanced. 

The Georgia Manufacturing Alliance (GMA), which has served the North Georgia manufacturing community since 2008, is dedicated to educating, training and advancing the region’s manufacturing sector. With its mission “to create profitable business connections for our members,” the Alliance provides its membership with a host of networking and learning opportunities.  With its trademarked “Buy Georgia” campaign, GMA calls attention to the wide range of products manufactured in Georgia, exposing our communities to these products and the companies that make them.

Along with monthly educational sessions, GMA hosts tours of Georgia’s manufacturing companies such as Coca-Cola, Yamaha and Jetstream. A recent tour of Georgia Power showed manufacturers ways they could reduce energy costs and save money. Members also enjoy business growth opportunities through direct contacts and referrals.

Smith & Howard has first-hand knowledge of the tremendous opportunities offered to GMA members. With manufacturing and distribution as our firm’s largest industry sector, we became active members and a major sponsor to stay close to industry issues most critical to our clients and to help drive the Alliance toward achieving its full potential. More specifically, our firm has representation on the GMA’s leadership board and is serving as a sponsor of the 2015 Georgia Manufacturing Alliance Summit, which will be held November 18, 2015 at Cobb Galleria.

Following on the great success of the 2013 and 2014 Georgia Manufacturing Expo, manufacturers expressed a desire to see more programming on areas affecting their businesses. The GMA Summit, expected to attract over 300 attendees, will provide a valuable educational opportunity for all levels of manufacturing business decision-makers – from industry C-level executives to HR professionals and others.

Smith & Howard views the GMA Summit as an opportunity to get manufacturers to share ideas, provide candid feedback and learn directly from them about their challenges and opportunities. “Like us, GMA is committed to helping Georgia manufacturers grow and improve,” says Debbie Torrance, Smith & Howard partner and leader of the firm’s manufacturing and distribution team. “Our involvement with GMA allows us to give back to the community while offering clients and other manufacturers an opportunity to access resources and expertise that can contribute to their future growth and success.” Torrance serves on the Alliance’s leadership board.

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