Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce holds first manufacturing awards
More than 14,000 local jobs tied to business sector

Earlier this week, the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce honored local companies that build, produce and create by hosting the organization’s inaugural Manufacturers of Distinction and Leadership Awards on Wednesday at the Forsyth Conference Center at Lanier Technical College.

 “Obviously, we’re here to celebrate manufacturing, but I don’t know that a lot of people know the impact that manufacturing has on our community,” said Robert Long, the chamber’s vice president of economic development. 

Long said more than 14,000 jobs in the community were tied to manufacturing. 

Award winners included: Metcam Inc., small manufacturer of the year; Solvay Specialty Polymers, medium manufacturer of the year; and Siemens Industry, large manufacturer of the year. 

“We are very proud to be part of Forsyth County and we feel very dedicated to our area,” said Ranjani Balasubramaniam, with Siemens. “While we do a lot for them, all the school systems … also do a lot for us, and we really appreciate it.”

Award winners were selected based on economic impact, corporate responsibility and workforce excellence, which are the same qualifications for similar manufacturing awards given by the state.

Motovario Inc., Hansgrohe Inc. and Scientific Games Corporation were also nominated for the awards. 

Also, much like the state awards, the local ceremony gave an arts award. It went to Destiny Mooney, a fifth grader from Matt Elementary School who was recognized for her art for Georgia Manufacturing Appreciation Week. 

“It was awesome,” Mooney said. “I wasn’t expecting it at all. It was amazing.”

Mooney said this wasn’t her first time getting an arts award.

“I like reading and music; I’m a very artsy person,” she said. “Including this, I’ve won three awards for art.”

The event had two keynote speakers; Adam Bruns, managing editor for Site Selection Magazine, and John Morehouse, director of the Center of Innovation for Manufacturing.  Morehouse said the industry is huge in Georgia’s economy.

“Manufacturing accounts for 92 percent of our exports; it’s about 11 percent of our gross state product,” Morehouse said. “The industry, manufacturing alone, brings $53 million annually; that is huge for our state.”

Attendees Kate Badey and Marty Gates said they were grateful the event recognized local businesses. Gates said she appreciated the connection to local schools, and Badey said it was important to recognize the industry. 

“We’re supporters of manufacturers in Forsyth County, as well as all of Georgia,” Badey said. “It’s an excellent way to honor manufacturing in Georgia, and I feel like we need to highlight all the great things happening with manufacturing bringing jobs to Georgia.”