Growing jobs in automotive-related industries

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The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) is receiving $250,000 in federal funds to pilot a regional business-to-business network project in the automobile supplier and technology sectors.

The grant for the project is part of $2.5 million in awards the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) gave to 10 MEPs across the country.

Each pilot is structured to help create networks of buyers and sellers of technologies, products, and services. The main goals are to have such networks support small- and medium-sized businesses and determine whether those pilots can be expanded nationally.

“One of NIST-MEP’s goals is to improve the productivity of our domestic supply chains,” said Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Acting NIST Director Willie May in a statement. “These projects will demonstrate a variety of innovative approaches to doing that by connecting small firms with larger corporations.”

GaMEP, a federally and state-funded unit of Georgia Tech's Enterprise Innovation Institute, works extensively with businesses across the state to reduce costs, increase productivity and revenue, incorporate best technological practices, and save or create jobs.

GaMEP’s pilot covers five southeastern states — Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The aim is to build a multi-state network that will include supply chain partners, technology solutions, and workforce development related to the automotive industry.

The automotive sector has flourished in the Southeast with European and Asian automakers flocking across the region during the last 15 years to build manufacturing plants:

  • Kia Motors to West Point, Ga. (Though it doesn’t manufacture vehicles here, Porsche’s North American headquarters is in Atlanta with 272 employees.)
  • Hyundai, Honda, and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz brand to Alabama
  • BMW to South Carolina
  • Nissan to Mississippi
  • Nissan, Volkswagen, and America’s own General Motors Corp. to Tennessee

All of that activity has led to the robust growth of automotive suppliers and related businesses to support core automobile manufacturing, as well as jobs.

Georgia — which also has Blue Bird, the Fort Valley-based school bus maker — has 250 companies in the automotive supplier manufacturing sector. Collectively, they employ 18,000, Georgia Department of Economic Development figures show.

The Kia plant alone supports 7,000 supplier jobs. That’s more than double the 3,100 employees Kia has at its own auto plant.

“GaMEP is proud to have been named one of the 10 MEPs to receive this award to extend our work accelerating technology adoption along the automotive supply chain in the Southeast,” said GaMEP Director Karen J. Fite. “With this network, Georgia automotive suppliers will be able to grow their business and create new jobs.”

Written by Péralte C. Paul



  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Laura Diamond
  • Created:12/03/2014
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016