2018 Georgia Innovation Summit focus is emerging technology

2018 Georgia Innovation Summit

 

How will emerging technologies affect small businesses and what that sector will be like in the future?

 

That core question is the theme of the 2018 Georgia Innovation Summit, scheduled for Feb. 20 at the Georgia Tech Research Institute Conference Center in Atlanta. (Register at this link: http://workforce.georgia.org/event/3rd-annual-innovation-summit/)

 

Now in its third year, the Georgia Innovation Summit is an annual gathering of the state’s top business, education, and government leaders who meet in a series of panel discussions to discuss emerging trends and innovations that will affect businesses of all sizes across Georgia.

 

The Georgia Mentor Protégé Connection — in partnership with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Georgia Centers of Innovation, and Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) — is presenting this year’s summit.

 

Keynote speakers include Jen Bonnett, general manager of Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), and Steve Justice, the Georgia Centers of Innovation’s executive director.

 

“Emerging technologies are rapidly shaping and changing not only the types of businesses that are being created, but also how business itself is being done,” said EI2 vice president Chris Downing.

 

“The topics and themes we’ll be exploring this year reflect that understanding and will help attendees better understand how they can incorporate and use emerging technologies to drive business forward.”

 

Among the topics is financial technology (FinTech), an important sector in Georgia’s economy. Jeff Gapusan, ATDC’s FinTech catalyst, will moderate a panel discussion titled “FinTech’s Impact on Your Business.”

 

The industry is big in Georgia with 70 percent of the $5.3 trillion in annual U.S. card spending being processed through companies in Georgia. “FinTech isn’t static,” Downing said. “There’s constant disruption in this sector which is affecting everything from traditional banking to retail. This panel features the thought leaders in this space who are driving that innovation.”

 

Other panel topics include the Internet of Things (IoT), dealing with cybersecurity, and connecting businesses with the resources they need to navigate the ever-changing business climate.

Manufacturing Disaster Assistance Program to help Georgia companies prepare for natural disasters

Manufacturers in seven Georgia counties can participate in new program

offered by the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

 

Head shot of Ben Cheeks

Ben Cheeks is GaMEP’s manager for the Coastal Georgia region.

The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) is seeking eligible manufacturers to participate in a disaster assistance program designed to help companies that are located in the state’s coastal areas assess their preparedness and develop operational solutions to minimize the impact of future hurricanes and other natural disasters.

 

 

The $173,859 grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) funds the GaMEP’s Manufacturing Disaster Assistance Program (MDAP), which was developed to address the needs of Georgia manufacturers.

 

 

The funds for the two-year effort are specifically designated toward assisting manufacturers with operations in Coastal Georgia in Camden, Chatham, Charlton, Glynn, Liberty, and McIntosh counties. It also includes Coffee County, which is not on the coast, but was also severely impacted by flooding during 2017’s Hurricane Irma. (Eligible manufacturers are encouraged to email Ben Cheeks, GaMEP’s coastal region manager at ude.hcetag.etavonninull@skeehc.neb.)

 

 

The counties are home to 408 manufacturing facilities that employ 23,000.

 

 

The MDAP creation follows a devastating 2017 hurricane season in which Hurricane Irma led to a mandatory evacuation of the coast’s nearly 540,000 residents and business owners, and resulted in estimated damages of more than $670 million. That’s on top of a 2016 evacuation of the Georgia coast following Hurricane Matthew, which caused more than $500 million in damages.

 

 

The goal with this tailored approach to help manufacturers on the Georgia Coast is two-pronged, Cheeks said.

 

 

“First, we want to assist as many manufacturers as possible and get them operating at pre-Hurricane Irma levels — that includes employment and fully contributing to the regional and state economies,” Cheeks said. “The second part of this effort is to help them develop plans that they will already have in place to address future hurricanes and other natural disasters so they will positioned for as little disruption as possible in resuming operations.”

 

 

As part of the offering, GaMEP will leverage its expertise and resources at Georgia Tech, as well as its local, state, and federal economic development partners, including the Technical College System of Georgia and the MEP network, among other organizations, Cheeks said. Pooling resources at all levels ensures maximum impact for the affected companies and communities, he added.

 

 

The MDAP initiative will include assessments of the manufacturers’ needs, helping prioritize opportunities for sustainability and growth. It also will incorporate the development of pre and post-natural disaster protocols that address challenges manufacturers will face following hurricanes and other natural disasters, such as supply chain and infrastructure disruption, labor displacement, and financial constraints.

 

 

“We’re taking a 360-degree approach with this effort,” Cheeks said. “It’s designed to help position our coastal manufacturers proactively and ahead of the likely after-effects we will see in future storms that will affect the Georgia Coast.”

 

 

About the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP):

The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) is an economic development program of the Enterprise Innovation Institute at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The GaMEP is a member of the National MEP network supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. With offices in 10 regions across the state, the GaMEP has been serving Georgia manufacturers since 1960. It offers a solution-based approach to manufacturers through coaching and education designed to increase top-line growth and reduce bottom-line cost. For more information, please visit gamep.org.

Chick-fil-A Opens Innovation Center in Tech Square

Chick-fil-A innovation center ribbon cutting

Georgia Tech welcomed Chick-fil-A the newest company to open an innovation center at Tech Square. The quick service restaurant chain’s center is at the Biltmore building.

Chick-fil-A invented the chicken sandwich and now the company is continuing to innovate through a new center in Georgia Tech’s Technology Square.

The company opened a technology innovation satellite office Wednesday at the historic Biltmore. The Technology Innovation Center, part of the company’s long-standing partnership with the Institute, emphasizes Chick-fil-A’s commitment to innovation.

“This new facility will provide a dedicated space for Chick-fil-A to collaborate with the bright minds of Georgia Tech and develop technology solutions that will benefit our customers,” said Chick-fil-A’s Chief Information Officer Mike Erbrick. “Our founder Truett Cathy was a true innovator, and the Technology Innovation Center is one of the ways we’re continuing his legacy.”

FULL STORY @ Georgia Tech News Center.

Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center’s new instructional video and template help defense contractors comply with cybersecurity guidelines

Changes in U.S. Department of Defense cybersecurity regulations prompt creation of multimedia training package for nationwide use.

 

cybercriminal at a computer terminal

To meet the government’s cybersecurity standards, contractors must assess their information systems, develop a security plan, and create an action plan.

The Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) has produced and released an instructional video designed to help contractors comply with U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) cybersecurity requirements.

 

GTPAC, which works with Georgia businesses to help them identify, compete for, and win government contracts, is a program of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), Georgia Tech’s economic development arm. The video will serve as an instructional tool for procurement technical assistance centers (PTACS) across the country. GTPAC is scheduling a series of briefings for its clients statewide and is sharing the complete training package with all PTACs nationwide.

 

Accompanying the video is a 127-page template GTPAC developed for contractors to use to create a security assessment report, a system security plan, and a plan of action for those cybersecurity requirements.

 

Navy ships

Defense contractors have to comply with new guidelines and cybersecurity rules across different branches of the military, including the U.S. Navy.

The video and template were funded through a cooperative agreement with the Defense Logistics Agency, and created with the support of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

 

GTPAC presented an idea for a multimedia training package to the DoD for its Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) clause 252.204-7012. This clause, revised in 2016 and which the DoD is including in many of its contracts, mandates that contractors implement adequate security on all applicable contractor information systems and investigate and report on any compromises to those systems.

 

Specifically, the DFARS clause requires that contractors:

  • Isolate malicious software.
  • Preserve and protect all media involved in a cyber incident.
  • Provide DoD with access to information or equipment for purposes of forensic analysis.
  • Assess damage as a result of a cyber incident.
  • “Flow down” the clause in any subcontracts involving information covered by the requirements.

 

To meet the government’s cybersecurity standards, contractors must assess their information systems, develop a security plan, and create an action plan. GTPAC’s template — available for download as a Word document on the same webpage where the video appears (gtpac.org/cybersecurity-training-video) — provides a step-by-step process by which each of these tasks can be completed and documentation can be compiled.

 

“Understanding and incorporating these cybersecurity regulations are critical for DoD contractors. That’s especially so for small businesses, both primary contractors and subcontractors,” said Joe Beaulieu, GTPAC’s program manager.

 

“While numerous briefings have been held in recent months about the requirements, there had not been a comprehensive briefing package to help contractors understand the new regulations,” he noted. “Our multimedia training package for GTPAC and procurement assistance center clients across the country comprehensively addresses the requirements and presents a practical, solutions-based approach to the challenge to small businesses that the requirements represent.”

 

Georgia contractors seeking assistance in complying with DoD’s cybersecurity requirements are encouraged to contact a GTPAC procurement counselor. A list of counselors, their locations, and contact information can be found at gtpac.org/team-directory.

 

Companies located outside of Georgia may contact their nearest procurement technical assistance center for assistance. PTACs are located in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico. For a directory of PTACs, please visit aptac-us.org/find-a-ptac.

 

About Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC):

The Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center, an economic development program of Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), helps Georgia enterprises identify, compete for, and win government contracts. Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense, GTPAC’s services are available at no cost to any Georgia businesses that have an interest and potential to perform work — as a prime contractor or a subcontractor — for federal, state, or local government agencies. In a recent 12-month period, GTPAC helped more than 2,200 clients create or save 19,000 jobs and win more than 5,500 government contracts worth $1.9 billion. To learn more, visit gtpac.org.

Georgia Institute of Technology offers temporary office space to entrepreneurs from Puerto Rico

Entrepreneurs and innovators can tap into Technology Square ecosystem as
Caribbean island recovers from Hurricane Maria’s devastation.

 

A delegation of business and education leaders visited the Georgia Tech campus recently to learn about the Institute’s economic development initiatives and programs.

The Georgia Institute of Technology will offer more than 2,000 square feet of office space — for a four-month period beginning in February 2018 — to entrepreneurs and innovators from the island of Puerto Rico, who are still reeling from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria.

 

 

The Institute will host up to 10 companies — roughly two people each — in Class A office space during that four-month period. The space offering is made possible via Georgia Advanced Technology Ventures Inc., a non-profit organization and Tech affiliate.

 

 

Eligible entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply during the offering period via this link: https://goo.gl/N3Rst8.

 

 

Walter Alomar, president of the Universidad
de Puerto Rico’s board of directors, stands with Gloria Viscasillas, Banco Popular of Puerto Rico’s vice president of economic development programs, David Bridges, director of Georgia Tech’s Economic Development Lab, and Glorimar Ripoll, Puerto Rico’s chief innovation officer. (Photo by Péralte Paul)

The initiative follows a November 2017 visit to Georgia Tech by a delegation of the Echar Pa’Lante (Move Forward), a multi-sector alliance based in Puerto Rico and comprised of business and government leaders and educators.

 

 

David Bridges, director of Georgia Tech’s Economic Development Lab (EDL), the program that hosted the delegation, said the offering follows years of work with partners on the island to develop Puerto Rico’s startup ecosystem.

 

 

EDL, a program of Georgia Tech’s economic development arm, the Enterprise Innovation Institute, assists governments, communities, foundations, entrepreneurs, and small businesses in fostering value creation by applying innovative ideas, technology, and policy to initiatives focused on fostering economic growth.

 

 

“One of the most critical needs for entrepreneurs on the island is space and reliable access to energy and telecommunications. By temporarily relocating here, they can continue operations while the situation improves in Puerto Rico,” Bridges said. “By working in Tech Square, they will have the opportunity to interact with our ecosystem and network, which could lead to potential new business opportunities.”

 

 

The temporary space offering follows more than five years of work EDL has done in partnership with universities, private organizations, non profits, and the Puerto Rican government in building the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem of the island.

 

 

Through those longstanding efforts in Puerto Rico, EDL’s work with its partners on the island has resulted in more than $9 million in initiatives and investments being infused into the island’s startup ecosystem.

 

 

The delegation of more than two-dozen visitors to the Tech campus included Gloria Viscasillas, Banco Popular of Puerto Rico’s vice president of economic development programs and Echar Pa’Lante leader, Silvio López (BSCE ’79), Banco Popular senior vice president, Walter Alomar, president of the Universidad de Puerto Rico’s board of directors, and Glorimar Ripoll, the island’s chief innovation officer.

 

 

“To have this partnership with Georgia Tech where we can bring our companies and startups to Georgia Tech is very helpful,” Alomar said. “We’re going to continue to send people here, we’re going to continue to share our experiences, and we want to continue to develop this relationship because Georgia Tech is a very good example of what we want to achieve in Puerto Rico with the Universidad de Puerto Rico.”

 

 

Alomar and the other delegates were on campus Nov. 27 and 28 to learn about the Institute’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem and its impact on metro Atlanta and Georgia’s economic development. They also learned about the various components that comprise a successful innovation ecosystem model.

 

 

“As chief innovation officer of the government of Puerto Rico, I am both inspired by and committed to being a part of this multidisciplinary team — including Georgia Tech,” Ripoll said, “that will make this innovation ecosystem a reality in Puerto Rico.”

 

 

On Sept. 20, 2017, a category 4 storm, Hurricane Maria, hit Puerto Rico. The ensuing 155-mile-per-hour winds and catastrophic flooding destroyed the island’s electrical grid and plunged it into darkness.

 

 

The natural disaster came as the island was already dealing with a debt crisis of more than $73 billion.

 

 

The visit to Georgia Tech and temporary space offering is part of a strategy to support Puerto Rico’s economic recovery. The University Allies of Echar Pa’lante, a Banco Popular effort, established a goal to work together on an initiative called the “Block Project.” Under that project, EPL Universities Allies will collaborate to support entrepreneurs and create economic development activity in the communities that surround university campuses across Puerto Rico.

 

 

EPL launched a partnership in 2015 with Georgia Tech to train 800 university professors on evidenced-based entrepreneurship. The long-term goal is that EPL-member schools, which include Universidad de Puerto Rico–Mayaguez and the Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, will collaborate to create economic development activity adjacent to their respective campuses.

 

 

Rafael L. Bras, Georgia Tech provost, greets the Puerto Rico delegation and shares a light-hearted exchange with the group. (Photo by Péralte Paul)

During their visit to Tech, the delegates met with Provost Rafael L. Bras, among other campus leaders, and toured a number of Institute programs and facilities, including the Invention Studio and the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC). They also met with leaders from corporate innovation centers at Tech and received an update on the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) $20 million engineering research center project.

 

 

Led by Georgia Tech, the NSF Engineering Research Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT) includes a group of universities — Universidad de Puerto Rico–Mayaguez among them — that will work closely with industry and clinical partners to develop transformative tools and technologies for the consistent, scalable and low-cost production of high-quality living therapeutic cells.

 

 

The CMaT and project as well as the Economic Development Lab’s efforts underscore the longstanding ties between Georgia Tech and Puerto Rico. The relationship goes back to 1895, when the Institute accepted the first group of students from the island, then under Spanish rule.

 

 

Most recently, in 2016, Tech conferred 20 degrees to students from Puerto Rico, and there are currently 62 students enrolled at the Institute.

 

 

“We are particularly interested in understanding the role that a university, such as Georgia Tech, plays in economic development and how it has specifically helped to accelerate and strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem here,” Viscasillas said.

 

 

“We are really interested in deepening our understaning of the Georgia Tech model to see what we can do and how we can execute on that model both for development of entrepreneurship within a university and the resulting impact on a community in developing entrepreneurs and helping companies to develop entrepreneurship and growth from within.”

 

 

About the Economic Development Lab (EDL)

Economic Development Lab, an economic development program of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, helps communities and organizations apply innovative ideas to economic development. Areas of expertise include business incubation and commercialization, strategic planning, and economic sustainability. EDL helps communities create jobs and become more competitive, by advancing innovation-led economic development by providing expertise and connections to Georgia Tech research and resources. For more information, visit edl.gatech.edu.

 

 

About the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2)

The Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) is the Georgia Institute of Technology’s economic development unit. It is charged with fulfilling Georgia Tech’s mission and goals of expanded local, regional, and global outreach. EI2 is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-based program of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization, and economic development. EI2 is creating the next innovation economy, not only for Georgia, but beyond. EI2’s expertise and reach are global in scope, with its programs in innovation, entrepreneurship, and ecosystem development serving governments, universities, nonprofits, and other organizations worldwide. To learn more, visit innovate.gatech.edu.

Apprenticeship Program Helps Students Gain Skills

Georgia state governermnent and education leaders stand with Coweta County high school students partirticipating in the Georgia Consortium for Advanced Technical Training program (GA CATT) at Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s 10th Annual Business & Education Summit in Griffin on Monday, Nov. 13. Launched in 2016, GACATT allows them to graduate on time with a high school diploma, earn technical college credentials, while obtaining real, hands-on experience in a workplace and technical skills that they can use to build their careers. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

 

GRIFFIN, GA — At 4 a.m. on many mornings, 17-year-old Cole McKeehan is already at work at E.G.O. North America in Newnan, Georgia.

 

McKeehan, a junior at Northgate High School in Newnan, is a student apprentice at E.G.O., which makes radiant heating elements and electronic components such as touch controls and induction heaters at the facility.

 

Jenny Houlroyd (left), an industrial hygienist with the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Safety, Health, and Environmental Services program, stands with Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (center), and Larry Alford, South Metro Atlanta region manager with Tech’s Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP). The three attended Cagle’s 10th Annual Business & Education Summit in Griffin on Nov. 13. They were part of a panel of state and education leaders who discussed the Georgia Consortium for Advanced Technical Training program (GA CATT). (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

He is in his second year of the program — the Georgia Consortium for Advanced Technical Training (GA CATT) — and is gaining practical experience in machining and lathing. McKeehan is developing those skills under an apprenticeship program that would let him graduate high school with technical college credits. He can use those credits toward earning an associate’s degree in industrial mechanics from West Georgia Technical College.

 

“I think this is a great program,” McKeehan said. “I will graduate with an associate’s degree and continue on to college for a four-year degree in engineering or tool and die.”

 

McKeehan was one of several teens in GA CATT who shared their experiences Nov. 13 at Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s 10th Annual Business & Education Summit.

 

The session where the teens spoke, held on the first day of the two-day summit and hosted by the Griffin Region College and Career Academy, brought Georgia’s business and education leaders together for a series of collaborative meetings.

 

The hope is that these meetings will lead to innovative ideas and initiatives to better prepare high school students for the demands of a 21st-century workforce.

 

Cole McKeehan (seated rear left), smiles following a joke made by one of his friends, Josiah Henderson. The teens, who attend Northgate High School in Newnan, are student apprentices at E.G.O. North America in Newnan. They work there under the Georgia Consortium for Advanced Technical Training program (GA CATT). The program lets Georgia high school students earn technical college credentials and technical skills that they can use to build their careers. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

The GA CATT session, which also featured business leaders and officials from the Georgia Institute of Technology who worked on its development and implementation, was designed to answer questions from summit attendees, as state officials look to expand it statewide.

 

“Our GA CATT has had great success,” Cagle said. “We’re in our second year now and to be able to listen to the students and the impact that it’s having on their lives and how motivated and focused and determined they are — it’s a win for them, it’s a win for the community, and it’s certainly a win for industry as well.”

 

The Georgia initiative was launched in 2016 with support from the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S., the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Technical College, and the Central Educational Center, as well as Georgia Tech’s Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) and Safety and Health Consultation Program.

 

The GA CATT program seeks to follow the German apprenticeship dual education model and begin with 10th graders, the only program in the U.S. currently doing so.

 

Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (standing) greets high school students from Coweta County who are partirticipating in the Georgia Consortium for Advanced Technical Training program (GA CATT). The group assembled in Griffin at Cagle’s 10th Annual Business & Education Summit on Monday, Nov. 13. The students and their mentors shared their experiences of being in GA CATT, which allows them to earn technical college credentials. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

As in Germany, GA CATT requires participating Georgia high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors to spend 70 percent of their time working at their host company and the remaining 30 percent in the classroom.

 

The 70-30 split is designed to allow them to graduate on time with a high school diploma and earn technical college credentials while obtaining real, hands-on experience in a workplace and technical skills that they can use to build their careers. In addition, apprentices have the opportunity to attain a German Certification in Industrial Mechanics that is accepted in Europe and beyond as evidence of their skill and knowledge.

 

The student apprentices are paid for their time at the company, earning $8 an hour when they start and $12 per hour as seniors.

 

Two German companies with operations in Newnan — Grenzebach Corp. and E.G.O. North America — were committed to launching GA CATT and served as the catalysts for the program.

 

The companies asked Larry Alford, GaMEP’s South Metro Atlanta region manager, to leverage his long-term relationships with local companies to invite them to join the program. GA CATT began with eight companies and 10 apprentices.

 

GaMEP, which works with manufacturers to innovate, increase top-line growth, and reduce bottom-line costs, also supported the GA CATT initiative, as did the Institute’s Safety and Health Consultation Program.

 

Larry Alford, (left) South Metro Atlanta region manager with the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) at Georgia Tech, speaks with Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle at the 10th Annual Annual Business & Education Summit on Monday, Nov. 13. The GaMEP is part of a group of organizations that helped launch the Georgia Consortium for Advanced Technical Training program (GA CATT), which allows high school students to earn technical college credentials, while obtaining real, hands-on experience in a workplace and technical skills they can use after graduation. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

“Collaborating with industry from the start has been GA CATT’s secret to success. The educators and the German-American Chamber are key players, but the industry’s commitment will determine its growth and expansion,” Alford said. “Much of the focus rightfully is placed on the students, but equally important are the process and support systems that develop the company mentors, those who are tasked with guiding the activities of the students to meet curriculum requirements and to adequately prepare the apprentices to succeed in the program and at work.”

 

That commitment on all sides also helps manufacturers build a pipeline of talent, said David Keller, E.G.O. North America’s president and managing director of operations. In an industry that has historically had a difficult time finding a skilled workforce, these companies are looking to the future, by developing interest and relationships with talented students early on, he said.

 

The goal is that after graduation, the students will work for those companies where they apprenticed.

 

Jenny Houlroyd, an industrial hygienist with Tech’s Safety, Health, and Environmental Services program, is helping GA CATT companies understand and comply with U.S. labor laws that provide flexibility for apprentices under 18 to enter the workforce as student-learners.

 

In 2017, GA CATT added two additional clusters, centered in Rockdale & Newton Counties and Spalding County. Each cluster includes local manufacturers, their local college and career academies, and the local Technical College. Alford facilitates the implementation teams in each cluster. A total of 18 manufacturers and 28 students currently participate in the program.

Thomasville cheesemaker receives Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s 2017 Faces of Manufacturing Award

Jeremy Little is one of four Georgians to be awarded in October.

 

Award presentation Jeremy Little

Jeremy Little (second from left), co-owner of Sweet Grass Dairy in Thomasville, receives a 2017 Faces of Manufacturing Award from the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership. With him (from left) are: Andrea Collins, executive director of Thomasville-Thomas County Chamber of Commerce; Jeremy Little and his wife, Jessica Little; Shelley Zorn, economic developer for the Thomasville Payroll Development Authority, and Hank Hobbs, the GaMEP’s South Georgia region manager. (Photo by Katie Takacs)

 

THOMASVILLE, Ga. — The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) has named Jeremy Little a 2017 Faces of Manufacturing Award recipient.

 

Little, the co-owner of Sweet Grass Dairy in Thomasville, is one of four Georgians who are being recognized for their respective contributions and commitment to the manufacturing industry, which is a key driver of the state economy.

 

An internationally recognized and award-winning cheesemaker, Little, who co-owns Sweet Grass Dairy with his wife, Jessica, accepted his award Oct. 17 in a special ceremony at Sweet Grass Dairy’s Thomasville facilities.

 

“This award is an incredible honor. In the last 18 months we’ve started looking at how we could change our cheese making methods by focusing more on the science to better understand our raw materials and adjust our manufacturing process in an effort to bring the end consumer a more enjoyable experience,” Little said. “This award is a testament to our efforts. I couldn’t be more thrilled to receive an award of this caliber from such a distinguished program.”

 

GaMEP is a federally funded economic development program of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. It works with manufacturers across the state to help them remain viable and economically competitive.

 

Collectively, more than 10,000 manufacturing companies operate in Georgia. Those companies, which span all sizes, employ more than 365,000 and produce a total manufacturing output of $53 billion per year.

 

The Faces campaign showcases the sector’s importance to Georgia’s economy and Little and the other award recipients were selected through a public voting contest out of 10 finalists. Following more than 4,500 votes cast, Little emerged as one of the top four.

 

“Jeremy’s story represents two very important sectors of the Georgia economy — manufacturing food processing and agriculture,” said GaMEP Director Karen J. Fite. “Sweet Grass Dairy is a successful because of Jeremy’s commitment to producing high-quality, Georgia-grown food products. He is just one example of many dedicated Georgians in manufacturing and through today’s award, our Faces campaign aims to honor and celebrate that strength, vibrancy, and talent.”

 

Jessica Little’s parents founded Sweet Grass Dairy in 2000 and she and her husband acquired it in 2005. The company has since expanded and its six varieties of cheese are sold in more than 38 U.S. states.

 

The company’s cheeses have won more than 20 ribbons from the American Cheese Society and several international awards.

 

About the Faces of Manufacturing in Georgia:

The Faces of Manufacturing in Georgia campaign is an initiative of the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership that honors the people who work in or are

affected by manufacturing in Georgia. For more information, please visit gamep.org/faces-of-manufacturing/.

 

About the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP):

The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) is an economic development program of the Enterprise Innovation Institute at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The GaMEP is a member of the National MEP network supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. With offices in nine regions across the state, the GaMEP has been serving Georgia manufacturers since 1960. It offers a solution-based approach to manufacturers through coaching and education designed to increase top line growth and reduce bottom line cost. For more information, visit gamep.org.

 

About Sweet Grass Dairy:

Founded in 2000 and based in Thomasville, Ga., Sweet Grass Dairy is a 140-acre, family-owned-and-operated farm. Our award-winning cheeses are made from the milk of Jersey Cows and delivered to customers across the United States with exceptional quality. To learn more, please visit sweetgrassdairy.com.

Textron Specialized Vehicles executive receives Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s 2017 Faces of Manufacturing Award

Jason Alford is one of four Georgians to receive the 2017 award.

 

Jason Alford faces photo

Jason Alford (third from left), vice president of the integrated supply chain at Textron Specialized Vehicles in Augusta, receives a 2017 Faces of Manufacturing Award from the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership. With him (from left) are: Elliot Price, the GaMEP’s Augusta region manager, Angela Pringle, superintendent of the Richmond County School System, Alford, and Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. (Photo by Caley Landau)

AUGUSTA, Ga. — The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) has named Jason Alford a 2017 Faces of Manufacturing Award recipient.

 

Alford, vice president, Integrated Supply Chain for Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc. in Augusta, is one of four Georgians who are being recognized for their respective contributions and commitment to the manufacturing industry, which is a key driver of the state economy.

 

Alford, who has been with Textron for 14 years, accepted his award Oct. 10 in a special ceremony at the company’s Augusta facility.

 

“I am honored and humbled to accept this award,” Alford said. “I do not accept this honor alone. It truly belongs to the hundreds of talented, dedicated TSV employees who come to work each day to help us build vehicles and equipment to serve our customers around the world.”

 

GaMEP is a federally funded economic development program of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. It works with manufacturers across the state to help them remain viable and economically competitive.

 

Collectively, more than 10,000 manufacturing companies operate in Georgia. Those companies, which span all sizes, employ more than 365,000 and produce a total manufacturing output of $53 billion per year.

 

The Faces campaign showcases the sector’s importance to Georgia’s economy and Alford and the other three award recipients were chosen through a public voting contest consisting of 10 finalists, selected from an initial pool of nominations. Following more than 4,500 votes cast, Alford emerged as one of the top four.

 

“Jason’s keen intellect, analytical mindset and tireless work ethic are matched only by his devotion to our company and to his employees,” said Kevin Holleran, president and CEO of Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc. “His receipt of this award is no surprise to those of us who work with Jason every day, and experience firsthand his commitment to success.”

 

Textron Specialized Vehicles, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, designs and manufactures a wide variety of vehicles and equipment under several well-known brands. The company’s products include E-Z-GO golf cars, Arctic Cat snowmobiles, Cushman commercial utility vehicles, Textron Off Road side-by-sides and ATVs, Jacobsen professional turf-care equipment, and Dixie Chopper zero-turn mowers. In addition, the company manufactures ground support equipment for the aviation industry under its Textron GSE umbrella. The company employs about 1,400 people in Georgia and more than 4,200 worldwide.

 

Alford began at Textron as director, financial planning and analysis, but discovered he had a natural talent for manufacturing integration. His high-level knowledge of the company from a finance and planning perspective, coupled with a deep understanding of business processes in manufacturing, gave him unique insight into the company.

 

Alford is committed to sharing his passion for manufacturing with youth. He spearheaded Textron Specialized Vehicles’ partnership with the Richmond County School System to create the Reaching Potential Through Manufacturing (RPM) program. The program, now in its second year, provides high school students at risk of dropping out with an alternative path to graduation, even as they earn valuable manufacturing work experience building components for TSV products.

 

Alford, who is wheelchair-bound after surviving a motorcycle accident several years ago, drew on his own lessons learned from persevering during his recovery as inspiration in creating the RPM program.

 

“There are so many opportunities and possibilities in manufacturing, from machining and engineering to finance and fabrication,” said GaMEP Director Karen J. Fite. “Jason’s commitment and success at Textron, as well his dedication to inspiring the industry’s next generation workforce, reflect the caliber of the people we have in Georgia manufacturing. Through the award given today, our Faces campaign aims to honor and celebrate that strength, vibrancy, and talent.”

 

About the Faces of Manufacturing in Georgia:

The Faces of Manufacturing in Georgia campaign is an initiative of the Georgia

Manufacturing Extension Partnership that honors the people who work in or are affected by manufacturing in Georgia. For more information, please visit gamep.org/faces-ofmanufacturing/.

 

About the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP):

The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) is an economic development program of the Enterprise Innovation Institute at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The GaMEP is a member of the National MEP network supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. With offices in nine regions across the state, the GaMEP has been serving Georgia manufacturers since 1960. It offers a solution-based approach to manufacturers through coaching and education designed to increase top line growth and reduce bottom line cost. For more information, visit gamep.org.

 

About Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc.

Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of golf cars, utility and personal transportation vehicles, snowmobiles, side-by-sides, all-terrain vehicles, professional turf-care equipment, and ground support equipment. Textron Specialized Vehicles markets products under the E-Z-GO®, Cushman®, Arctic Cat®, Textron Off Road™, Jacobsen®, Dixie Chopper®, Ransomes®, TUG™, Douglas™, Premier™ and Safeaero™ brands. Its vehicles are found in environments ranging from golf courses to factories, airports to planned communities, and theme parks to hunting preserves. To learn more, visit textron.com.

 

About Textron Inc.:

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, Textron Off Road, Arctic Cat, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training. For more information, visit textron.com.

Sylvania manufacturing manager receives Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s 2017 Faces of Manufacturing Award

Bobby Jones is one of four Georgians to receive the 2017 award.

 

Bobby Jones and Jon Burns

Bobby Jones (left), manufacturing manager at Koyo Bearings in Sylvania, Ga., is a 2017 Faces of Manufacturing Award recipient. At right is Georgia House Majority Leader Rep. Jon G. Burns. (Photo: Katie Takacs)

SYLVANIA, Ga. — The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) has named Bobby Jones a 2017 Faces of Manufacturing Award recipient.

 

Jones, the manufacturing manager at Koyo Bearings in Sylvania, is one of four Georgians who are being recognized for their respective contributions and commitment to the manufacturing industry, which is a key driver of the state economy.

 

Jones, who has been employed at Koyo Bearings for 28 years, accepted his award Oct. 4 in a special ceremony held at the plant, which provides bearing solutions for the industrial and automotive sectors. Koyo Bearings is a subsidiary of JTEKT Corp.

 

“I’ve had a lifelong passion for innovation and being a part of a team that’s committed to driving improvements in the products we design and create,” Jones said. “To be able to do that at Koyo and to pass that on to the next generation of the manufacturing workforce is truly an honor.”

 

Koyo Bearings team

The Koyo Bearings team in Sylvania, Georgia. (Photo: Katie Takacs)

GaMEP, a federally funded economic development program of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, works with manufacturers across the state to help them remain viable and economically competitive.

 

Collectively, more than 10,000 manufacturing companies operate in Georgia. Those companies, which span all sizes, employ more than 365,000 and produce a total manufacturing output of $53 billion per year.

 

GaMEP’s Faces campaign showcases the sector’s importance to Georgia’s economy. Jones and the other three award recipients were chosen through a public voting contest consisting of 10 finalists, selected from an initial pool of nominations. Following more than 4,500 votes cast, Jones emerged as one of the top four.

 

“Bobby is just one example of many in Georgia’s manufacturing sector. He and others like him and are the reason why it is such a strong and thriving part of our state economy,” said GaMEP Director Karen J. Fite. “Bobby’s commitment to his field and industry reflects the quality of the people we have in Georgia manufacturing. Through this award given today, our Faces campaign aims to honor and celebrate that strength, vibrancy, and talent.”

 

Jones is part of the Georgia Southern University’s engineering advisory program, a member of Ogeechee Technical College’s board of directors, a member of Coastal Workforce Development Board, and a member of a regional industrial group working to resolve manufacturing needs. His work also has helped establish advanced partnerships of local industry, development authorities, and Ogeechee Technical College. That initiative led to the creation of an industrial maintenance lab so employees could gain skills to advance in their careers.

 

“Today’s manufacturing environment is fast, competitive, and wrought with constant challenges.  Building a history of success requires innovation, dedication, and discipline,” said Andy Durrence, plant manager of Koyo’s Sylvania facility. “Bobby is the embodiment of all that is needed to succeed. His reach and influence span far past the walls of Koyo into academia, workforce development, industrial development, and his community.”

 

About the Faces of Manufacturing in Georgia:

The Faces of Manufacturing in Georgia campaign is an initiative of the Georgia

Manufacturing Extension Partnership that honors the people who work in or are affected by manufacturing in Georgia. For more information, please visit gamep.org/faces-of-manufacturing/.

 

About the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP):

The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) is an economic development program of the Enterprise Innovation Institute at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The GaMEP is a member of the National MEP network supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. With offices in nine regions across the state, the GaMEP has been serving Georgia manufacturers since 1960. It offers a solution-based approach to manufacturers through coaching and education designed to increase top line growth and reduce bottom line cost. For more information, visit gamep.org.

 

About Koyo Bearings North America:

A global leader in design innovation and manufacturing technology for Ball, Needle, & Roller Bearings — Koyo has been providing bearing solutions to the industrial and automotive markets since 1921 and has been operating in the North American market since 1958. A subsidiary of JTEKT Corp., Koyo is a major supplier to both original equipment and aftermarket customers in a wide variety of industries including, aerospace, agri-con, automotive, electric motor, power sports, and steel and wind. To learn more, please visit jtekt-na.com.

 

Dalton innovator receives Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s 2017 Faces of Manufacturing Award

Marten Hutchison is one of four Georgians to receive the 2017 award.

 

Hutchison award photo

Marten Hutchison (third from left), lead innovation manager at Shaw Industries Group, receives a 2017 Faces of Manufacturing Award from the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership. With him (from left) are: John Zegers, the GaMEP’s Northwest Georgia region manager, Dalton Mayor Dennis Mock, and Travis Loudermilk, senior field representative for U.S. Rep. Tom Graves Jr.’s office. (Photo by Katie Takacs)

DALTON, Ga.  — The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) has named Marten Hutchison a 2017 Faces of Manufacturing Award recipient.

 

Hutchison, lead innovation manager at Shaw Industries Group Inc., headquartered in Dalton, Georgia, is one of four Georgians who are being recognized for their respective contributions and commitment to the manufacturing industry, which is a key driver of the state economy.

 

Hutchison has been with Shaw, the world’s largest flooring manufacturer, since 1993. He accepted his award Oct. 3 during a special ceremony at Shaw’s MakerSpace.

 

Since joining Shaw, he has held numerous positions, including one where he led a team to build one of the largest plastic bottle recycling facilities in North America. A graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering, Hutchison has focused on equipment and technology to improve processes and incorporate automation into Shaw’s plants.

 

“It’s a great honor to be recognized as a Face of Manufacturing in Georgia,” Hutchison said. “I’m proud of how Shaw’s approach to manufacturing has become increasingly innovative.”

 

GaMEP is a federally funded economic development program of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. It works with manufacturers across the state to help them remain viable and economically competitive.

 

Collectively, more than 10,000 manufacturing companies operate in Georgia. Those companies, which span all sizes, employ more than 365,000 people and produce a total manufacturing output of $53 billion per year.

 

The Faces campaign showcases the sector’s importance to Georgia’s economy. Hutchison and the other three award recipients were selected from an initial pool of nominations and chosen through a public voting contest consisting of 10 finalists. Following more than 4,500 votes cast, Hutchison emerged as one of the top four.

 

Hutchison and FIRST Robotics team.

Marten Hutchison (standing, center left), the lead innovation manager at Shaw Industries Group, stands with students in the FIRST Robotics team at Northwest Georgia College & Career Academy, where he serves as coach. Hutchison is a 2017 Faces of Manufacturing Award recipient. (Photo by Katie Takacs)

In addition to his Shaw duties, Hutchison is a FIRST Robotics team coach at Northwest Georgia College & Career Academy, where he helps students conceptualize, prototype, design, build, and program robots for competition. The team recently was awarded one of four Rookie Inspiration awards at the world competition.

 

“We are very proud of Marten and grateful to him for his dedication to educating students in the STEM disciplines and exciting them about manufacturing, as they are the future of our industry,” said David Morgan, Shaw’s executive vice president of operations.

 

“Marten is just one example of the caliber of people who comprise Georgia’s manufacturing sector,” said GaMEP Director Karen J. Fite. “He is the reason why it is such a strong and thriving part of our state economy. Through the awards given today, our Faces campaign aims to honor and celebrate that strength, vibrancy, and talent.”

 

About the Faces of Manufacturing in Georgia:

The Faces of Manufacturing in Georgia campaign is an initiative of the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership that honors the people who work in or are affected by manufacturing in Georgia. For more information, please visit gamep.org/faces-of-manufacturing/.

 

About the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP):

The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) is an economic development program of the Enterprise Innovation Institute at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The GaMEP is a member of the National MEP network supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. With offices in nine regions across the state, the GaMEP has been serving Georgia manufacturers since 1960. It offers a solution-based approach to manufacturers through coaching and education designed to increase top line growth and reduce bottom line cost. For more information, visit gamep.org.

About Shaw Industries:

Headquartered in Dalton, Georgia, Shaw is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. The company employs more than 20,000 associates with offices; research and development, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution locations; product showrooms; and/or salespeople throughout the U.S., as well as Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, India, Mexico, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit shawinc.com.