Georgia Gov. Brian P. Kemp announced Thursday, June 20, that GE Appliances (GEA), a Haier company, is significantly expanding its operations in Georgia through three significant investment and job growth initiatives in the state, including Walker County.

The growth initiatives include $43 million invested in the company’s Roper Corp. facility in LaFayette in Walker County, creating 100 new jobs; a $32 million investment to build a new Southern Logistics Center that will create 100 new jobs in Murray County; and a new $55 million smart warehouse, creating 100 new jobs in Jackson County.

“Thanks to corporate partners like GE Appliances, we are seeing greater investment and job growth in every part of our state,” Kemp said. “These jobs in Jackson, Murray, and Walker counties will provide greater opportunity for hardworking Georgians, and we’re very excited to announce GE’s expanded footprint in North Georgia.”

“Georgia has been a longtime home for GE Appliances,” said Kevin Nolan, chief executive officer for GE Appliances. “Our goal continues to be to become the leading major appliance business in the U.S. These investments and job expansions will help us do just that.”

The $43 million investment in the company’s affiliate, Roper Corp. in Walker County, is to create new manufacturing capacity and launch several new cooking products. This investment will create 100 new jobs, which will move total GEA jobs at the facility to more than 2,000 employees. Roper produces cooktops, free-standing ranges, and wall ovens under the Monogram, Café, GE Profile, and GE brands.

“Innovative manufacturers like GE Appliances are the backbone of our nation’s economy and have long been part of our Northwest Georgia community,” said U.S. Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.-14), who represents Walker and Murray counties. “I applaud their continued investment to create good-paying jobs in rural communities for so many Georgia families.”

The $32 million investment to build a new Southern Logistics Center in Murray County has been designed to take advantage of Georgia’s decision to expand the Port of Savannah to handle large trans-Pacific container ships, reducing reliance on cross-country trucking from West Coast ports. Connecting the port at Savannah by rail to the Appalachian Regional Port (ARP) in Northwest Georgia brings the benefits of the maritime port some 388 miles inland. This investment and the 100 new jobs that it creates will bring untold opportunities to the Murray County area.

“I am very pleased with the performance of our industrial development authority and all involved with the project. This will bring a diverse job mix and a welcomed new investment to our community,” said Murray County Sole Commissioner Greg Hogan. “With the opening of the Appalachian Regional Port in Murray County in August of 2018, we are anticipating more opportunities such as this. The quality of jobs and investment this project is bringing to our community is just the beginning of a long corporate citizenship we want to achieve in Murray County.”

“GPA established the Appalachian Regional Port with a goal of encouraging economic development in a Tier 1 county by providing efficient, cost-effective rail access,” said Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) Executive Director Griff Lynch. “With today’s announcement that a globally recognized brand such as GE Appliances will locate in Murray County, we are certain this is only the beginning of great things to come for the ARP.”

In Jackson County, the new $55 million GE Appliances Southeast Region Appliance Distribution Center represents cutting-edge distribution technology. Blending digital intelligence with unparalleled agility, the Center will create 100 high-quality new jobs and is a core pillar of GEA’s strategy to strengthen its national leadership position in distribution.

“GE Appliances has long been a leader in high-tech innovation, and today’s announcement reflects their continued commitment to creating well-paying jobs throughout our rural communities,” said U.S. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.-9). “Their $55 million investment in the city of Commerce will create 100 new jobs, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome GE Appliances to Jackson County.”

Georgia Department of Economic Development Director Wylly Harrison represented the Global Commerce Division on this project in partnership with Quick Start, Electric Cities of Georgia (ECG), Murray County Industrial Development Authority, Georgia Ports Authority, and Georgia Power.

“We are so excited that our friends at GE Appliances will continue to invest and create opportunity in these three North Georgia communities,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “I am confident that the opening of the Appalachian Regional Port, one of our state’s premier economic development tools, will continue to draw top-ranked businesses to the region.”

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