Albany EDC Honors Existing Industries with Annual Awards, Extends #MadeInAlbanyGA Campaign
Thursday, April 11th, 2019
The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission today honored existing industries WebstaurantStore, LMC-Ag, Phoebe Putney Health System and SouthernAG Carriers for their achievements in global commerce, innovation, economic impact and corporate citizenship at its 2019 Albany-Dougherty Industry Awards.
“Albany-Dougherty County is home to a wide variety of industries, from manufacturing, to defense, to call centers to healthcare. With many industries having been located in Albany for multiple decades, employing our citizens and investing in our community, existing industries are a vital cornerstone of our local economy,” said Justin Strickland, president of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission. “Our annual Industry Awards are a great opportunity to emphasize their importance to our community.”
In addition to recognizing the four award winners, the EDC also celebrated local manufacturers through the announcement of a second phase of its “#MadeInAlbanyGA” campaign.
The extended campaign features multimedia components highlighting all 13 of Albany’s major manufacturers and their respective products, emphasizing the benefits of doing business in Albany.
In conjunction with the campaign, consumers will soon be able to easily identify Albany-made products through store signage featuring the “Made in Albany, Georgia” seal displayed on the doors and shelves of local retail partners.
“Our Made in Albany campaign celebrates what it means to have a product that is made here in Albany and produced by our outstanding workforce. This week, and our annual Industry Awards, echos the same pride in that level of world class excellence, which is what ‘made in Albany’ has come to signify,” said Strickland.
The EDC’s Industry Awards are the highlight of Albany-Dougherty Industry Celebration Week, during which the EDC celebrates and promotes the impact of the community’s existing industries.
Global Commerce Award: WebstaurantStore
WebstaurantStore – the world’s No. 1 online retailer of restaurant and kitchen supplies and equipment – located its Southeastern distribution center and accompanying customer solutions center here in Albany in 2015, creating more than 200 jobs and $10 million in capital investment in the community.
Since then, the Albany distribution center has done its fair share of maintaining Webstaurant’s prominence in the global market through the fulfillment of orders traveling from Albany to many destinations throughout the world, sometimes in as little as one business day.
In its three years of operation here in Albany, Webstaurant has accounted for more than $23 million in international sales with exports primarily headed to Canada, Puerto Rico, the UK, Australia and Mexico.
In addition to direct distribution, Webstaurant also commonly engages freight forwarders for third-party logistics management of order delivery, which accounts for an additional portion of global sales.
With Albany-Dougherty County’s recent passing vote on freeport exemption, which expands inventory tax exemption to include fulfillment centers, Webstaurant will be even further benefitted from its location in Albany and therefore able to continue making an impact in the global market, and in our local market as a valued industry partner.
Excellence in Innovation Award: LMC-Ag
Innovation at LMC-Ag means more than just new products, it means offering the best customer service, beginning to end, while still maintaining old-fashioned values – a process that starts in their manufacturing plant here in Albany where they produce agricultural irrigation equipment, and ends with point-of-sale interactions with customers across the country.
Over the last two years, LMC-Ag has dedicated its time and resources to the growth of its product line, manufacturing capabilities and innovation on existing products. This growth has resulted in expansion through the acquisition of land, providing the ability to store an increased volume of inventory in order to achieve short delivery times – a valued asset in today’s market.
The expansion has provided additional space for assembly on new product lines, such as peanut dryers and root rake grapples. LMC-Ag has nearly quadrupled daily output in its paint division through its new state of the art paint facility – not only will this increase paint capacity but will also result in a better finish and longer lasting product.
Of all the recent advancements at LMC-Ag, none has been more impactful than the instillation of two new plasma tables, which have opened the door to a whole new level of innovative production by redefining the approach to how products can, and should, be designed.
LMC-Ag is dedicated to continuing making great strides toward new markets through innovative practices in its mission to be number one in customer care and product design in the ag machinery industry.
Economic Impact Award: Phoebe Putney Health System
Since opening its doors in 1911, Phoebe Putney Health System has always been committed to providing the best possible care and meeting the needs of the communities it serves. Not only does Phoebe provide the highest quality of healthcare in Southwest Georgia, but is a major contributor to the local and state economies.
Last year, the Georgia Hospital Association released a report stating that Phoebe generated more than $1.28 billion in revenue for the local and state economy in 2016 – an impact that is expected to continue to increase. During the same period, Phoebe supported more than 8,000 full-time jobs in addition to its more than 4,000 Phoebe Family members.
Phoebe is an economic engine, and plays an integral role in the economy for Dougherty County and Southwest Georgia. At a time when many hospitals and health systems are struggling to survive and are reducing their capital investments, Phoebe continues to make massive investments to improve and expand its services.
Over the past three years, its combined capital budget totaled more than $120 million – demonstrating a continued commitment to reinvest in programs and technology that benefits patients and supports the economic growth of our community.
Additionally, Phoebe proudly supports other local employers through its Corporate Health program by offering an array of health and wellness services that help corporate partners save money and help their employees stay healthy and productive.
To Phoebe, caring for the community is more than just healing the body. It also means helping to fuel growth and promote economic stability. Whether partnering with educational institutions making sure home-grown talent has the opportunity to thrive locally, or investing in top-notch talent and cutting–edge technology, Phoebe is dedicated to its mission of helping our community live healthier and happier lives.
Only One Albany Award for Corporate Community Citizenship:SouthernAG Carriers
On Sunday, January 22, 2017 an EF-3 tornado came through Albany, Georgia and completely demolished SouthernAG Carriers’ corporate headquarters and Albany terminal. Through hard work stemming from a determination to continue delivering quality service and providing support to its badly hurting agricultural partners throughout the region, SouthernAG Carriers was back up and running within 48 hours.
Dedicated to its work in the Albany community and the surrounding area, SouthernAG used the loss of its original structure to its advantage, making the decision to rebuild in place, reinforcing its commitment to the Albany community as a corporate citizen.
In addition to its own experience with natural disaster, SouthernAG is a proud volunteer transporter of peanut butter to disaster locations throughout the country in times of need.
As a regional leader in the transportation and logistics field, SouthernAG has been a strong contributing partner in the development and funding of the Albany Transportation Academy at Albany Technical College, designed to increase the pipeline of freight drivers in Southwest Georgia through industry-standard training and the obtainment of a Commercial Driver’s License. In addition to its work in the development of the program, SouthernAG also donated a semi-truck to the Transportation Academy, providing students the opportunity to gain hands-on training for easy transition into the field.
SouthernAG Carriers is proud to provide support to a variety of organizations and programs, both here in Albany and in its other four locations across the southeast, including the Peanut Institute Genomic projects, Peanut Proud, the Boy Scouts, 4H, the Dougherty County School System and various athletic programs and 5k runs.