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Economic Development: January 2014

Tops in Business: Georgia was recently named No. 1 in the nation for its business climate by Site Selection, an economic development trade publication.

Electric Expansion: Electrical wire and cable manufacturer Southwire is expanding in Carroll County, adding a 144,000-square-foot facility in Villa Rica and a 635,000-square-foot facility in Carrollton. Over the next four years, the $95-million expansion will create 375 jobs.

Metro Move: Briggs Equipment is moving from Fulton to Clayton County and tripling its footprint, bringing 100 jobs to the county. The materials handling equipment firm also plans to add 20 to 25 additional jobs over the next few years.

Sized Right: EP Ameri-can Footwear LLC is opening a manufacturing facility in Hazlehurst, creating 250 jobs. The 13-acre facility represents a $10-million investment and, when open later this year, will manufacture four million pairs of shoes a year.

Countertops: Israeli quartz countertop manufacturer Caesarstone is opening a manufacturing plant in Richmond Hill, creating 180 new jobs in Bryan County and representing a $70-$100 million investment. It’s the first in the Belfast Commerce Centre and joins more than 40 Israeli companies already operating in Georgia.

Rising: King’s Hawaiian is expanding in Hall County. The bread baker and distributor will add 400 new jobs over the next three years and invest $100 million into its Hall County operations, doubling the size of its current facility and building a 120,000-square-foot facility to triple its production capacity.

Gwinnett Growth: Planning and engineering firm The Dennis Group LLC is opening a location in Gwinnett County, bringing 35 jobs to the area. Sortimo International also expanded its North American headquarters in Peachtree Corners, adding 30 new jobs.

Rabun Expansion: Parkdale Mills is expanding in Rabun Gap. The spun yarn manufacturer’s $85-million investment in new equipment and technology will also net 210 new jobs by the end of 2014. 

Coastal Customization: Southern Aviation Parts & Services LLC is investing $15 million to $17 million to construct two new facilities in Chatham County that will manufacture high-end custom aircraft interiors. The company will create 200 jobs over the next five years at locations in Savannah and Pooler.

Home Products: Surya is building a $32-million, 1,280,000-square-foot facility in Bartow County. The Indian rug and home goods wholesaler will complete the project in two phases, with the first to be finished by the end of 2014.

More Jobs: Birch Communications is adding 50 new employees this year. The cloud services provider will add the new positions at several locations, including its existing Macon operations center and sales offices in Georgia. 

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