After years of steady decline and hemorrhaging jobs, Clayton County is showing significant signs of rebirth.
First there was last week’s announcement that mother-son business duo, Shelly and Ryan Wilson of Chime Solutions, are creating 1,200 jobs into the county in Morrow, Ga.
Today, Gov. Nathan Deal announced that Kroger, which already employs over 24,000 Georgians, will hire another 120 people in Clayton County and invest more than $175 million into a Forest Park, Ga. facility, which neighbors Morrow.
“Georgia is the ideal location for Kroger to establish its newest distribution facility,” said Deal. “Our interconnected highway and railway system, low cost of doing business and highly skilled workforce create a solid foundation to better serve Kroger’s markets in the Southeast.”
According to reports, one of the nation’s largest grocery chains will open the state-of-the-art distribution center will on the nearly 1,000-acre Fort Gillem property, a former U.S. Army base. The one-million-square-foot distribution center will “service existing operations in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.”
Among the positions will be warehouse, security, transportation management and other maintenance positions.
“Kroger is excited to close on 253 acres of property to build a new state of the art distribution center,” said Glynn Jenkins, director of communications and public relations for Kroger’s Atlanta Division. “The one-million-square-foot facility will improve efficiencies, help the economy in the communities we serve and deliver products to our stores much more quickly. We thank Governor Deal, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Forest Park Mayor [David] Lockhart and the city of Forest Park for supporting Kroger with this project.”
And that represents just the beginning, city officials promise.
“The city of Forest Park will see 1,500 new jobs over the next two years plus new revenue to support critical services for our residents,” said David Lockhart, mayor of the city of Forest Park. “Gillem Logistics Center will be the region’s premiere, world-class, institution grade, and regional and e-commerce distribution park.”
Among Kroger’s existing operations include two food manufacturing facilities, distribution centers and numerous retail locations throughout the state. Charlie Moseley, senior project manager on the logistics, energy, agribusiness and food (LEAF) team at the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), assisted the company on behalf of the state.
“Leading companies such as Kroger are finding Georgia to be the best place for their distribution operations,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “We are fostering growth in this area and are seeing companies in this industry thrive, thanks to our pro-business resources and competitive business climate.”