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March 17, 2015 – Georgia Department of Economic Development

ATLANTA, March 17, 2015 – The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) announced today the launch of a study that analyzes Georgia’s aerospace and defense sectors through a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Office of Economic Adjustment. The department’s Workforce division and Center of Innovation for Aerospace are partnering on this initiative.

“The results of the study will be critical in developing and expanding new market opportunities for Georgia businesses and our workforce.” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “Our expectation is that this economic model tool will provide an accurate diagram of the supply chain for Georgia’s aerospace, defense and manufacturing sectors.”

The Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) assists communities in developing comprehensive strategies to adjust to local impacts due to ongoing changes in the U.S. defense budget. OEA awarded a $700,000 grant to the Georgia Department of Economic Development to conduct the analysis.

Chmura Economics and Analytics, an economic research, analytics and modeling firm, will work with GDEcD’s Workforce division and the Center of Innovation for Aerospace to complete the GUARD Initiative study. Currently, Georgia’s aerospace and defense companies are being contacted by Chmura to participate in the confidential survey that identifies contractors in the state who completed DOD contract work in 2014. This proactive look at the state’s reliance on DOD spending, the economic impact of these sectors and their labor force dependencies will be used to develop strategies to prepare for potential declines in defense spending nationwide between FY2011 and FY2018.

“Georgia’s aerospace industry contributes more than $50 billion to the state’s economy and employs more than 88,000,” said the Director of the Center of Innovation for Aerospace Steve Justice. “The GUARD Initiative will help us prepare our aerospace, defense and manufacturing industries to remain competitive.”

Following the survey, results will be used to create an economic model that will provide a comprehensive overview and inventory of Georgia’s aerospace and defense-related manufacturers and contractors. The GUARD initiative will also determine the vulnerability level of the state’s aerospace and defense industries to potential DOD budget cut scenarios.

“The information gathered will help us mitigate impacts of any future defense cuts and develop strategies to expand and ultimately protect Georgia jobs,” said GDEcD’s Deputy Commissioner of Workforce Ben Hames. “It’s also an opportunity to identify necessary workforce training and educational opportunities in Georgia’s aerospace and defense sectors.”

The Workforce division’s Rapid Response program serves as a liaison between companies, dislocated workers and state resource partners. This model will assist Georgia companies and their workforce by enabling the rapid response team to foresee possible layoff events and respond proactively to help protect jobs. Through early intervention, the Rapid Response program can help avert layoffs, or assists affected employees in quickly obtaining new skillsets and transitioning into new careers.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development anticipates that the survey and model will be completed and ready for use by summer 2015.


The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.

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