Advantages Built For Advanced Manufacturing

Advanced manufacturing businesses can utilize a variety of strategic advantages in Coffee County. From workforce development, to the transportation logistics to move products, Douglas and Coffee County is an ideal location for advanced manufacturing operations.

Skilled, Available Labor

Coffee County is home to a large non-union labor force comprised of both Coffee County residents and the surrounding region. The entire labor-shed area for Coffee County includes a pool of more than 65,000 workers.

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, offers technical and industrial programs in disciplines like electrical engineering, industrial systems technology, machine tool technology, and welding and joining technology. The Wiregrass Economic Development Department also partners with businesses to provide employee training. It is also home to the Center for Industry Excellence, which offers extensive workforce training in advanced automation, health and safety, mechanical, and leadership development.

Georgia’s signature program, Georgia Quick Start, also offers workforce training free to eligible companies. The oldest program of its kind in the U.S., it is responsible for the update of the skill sets of more than 1 million employees in 6,500 projects in Georgia.

Georgia Quick Start develops unique, customized training programs to meet the specific needs of each business it works with. While Quick Start has worked with a wide range of industries, it has had notable successes in advanced manufacturing projects and has worked with companies such as Caterpiller, Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas, Mando Corporation and Ricoh Electronics.

After working with Georgia Quick Start, businesses are provided with all training materials for future use.

Central Location 

Manufacturers will find it possible to move products from Douglas-Coffee County across the country and the world with ease. The county is located in close proximity to four different major interstate highways: I-75, I-95, I-16 and I-10. U.S. highways 221 and 441 also run through the heart of Douglas, as do four major state highways.

For rail, the city is served by CSX Transportation, a Class 1 railroad that owns over 20,000 route miles and serves most of the East Coast, along with the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

To move product by sea, businesses have access to major ports in Savannah and Brunswick, Georgia, as well as Jacksonville, Florida. All three are under 3 hours away. Less than 100 miles from Douglas, the Port of Brunswick is served by CSX. The Port of Savannah has the distinction of being the largest single container terminal in North America and boasts 9,700 feet of contiguous berth space.

Low Operating Costs

Coffee County and the City of Douglas also offer Freeport Exemption. This means raw materials, goods in process and finished goods that are marked for out-of-state shipment and held in Coffee County factories or warehouses are 100 percent tax exempt from ad valorem taxes. While Georgia Counties are able to set exemption at 20, 40, 60, 80 or 100 percent, Coffee County offers the maximum 100 percent exemption.

Sales tax in the county is 7 percent, including a 2 percent local sales tax, making it one of the lowest sales tax rates in the South according to the Tax Foundation. Additionally, industrial electricity rates in Georgia are approximately 17 percent below the national average based on information from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Robust Incentives

Douglas-Coffee County and the State of Georgia offer a variety of incentives to benefit advanced manufacturing businesses:

  • The Job Tax Credit offers strategic industries, including advanced manufacturing, 4,000 in annual tax savings per job for up to five years.
  • The Quality Jobs Tax Credit offers businesses that create at least 50 jobs in a 12-month period – at wages that are at least 10 percent higher than the county average – a tax credit of $2,500 to $5,000 per job.
  • Through the Investment Tax Credit companies in manufacturing that have operated in Georgia for at least three years are eligible to earn investment tax credits for upgrades or expansions.
  • Through its Sales Tax and Use Tax Exemptions manufacturing machinery and equipment that is integral and necessary to the manufacturing process and used in a facility located in Georgia is exempt from sales tax.
  • Douglas-Coffee County Local Incentives offers information on local business incentives in Douglas-Coffee County.