At a luncheon held last week, Governor Brian Kemp named a Statesboro-based company as the winner of the 2019 Manufacturer of the Year award in the category of Medium Manufacturer with 151 to 500 employees.
Briggs & Stratton was the recipient and had employees present to accept the award.
From the press release from Ogeechee Technical College:
Briggs & Stratton earned the honor based on a range of criteria, including its economic impact, community involvement and corporate responsibility, and commitment to workforce development and excellence.
Companies such as Briggs & Stratton, “have created jobs, proven their commitment, and are critical to our state’s prosperity,” said Gov. Brian Kemp in his keynote address during the awards luncheon. “Today we honor some of the best, most advanced manufacturers who have been thriving here in Georgia for years.” Briggs & Stratton has operated in the Statesboro community since 1995 and employs approximately 430 people at its facility in Statesboro, Ga.
“About a year and a half ago, we began work on our Vanguard program,” said James Suchovsky, Statesboro plant manager of Briggs & Stratton, the world’s largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment, including the newest production of its V-Twin Vanguard engines. Bulloch County and State of Georgia leaders helped ensure Briggs & Stratton’s Statesboro plant “would be the place to make what we needed to.”
Amanda See, human resource manager, said Briggs & Stratton’s success could not have happened “without the support from our state partners, Ogeechee Technical College, and Georgia Quick Start. Quick Start has always helped us with training plans to ensure we have the skills needed to make engines. We look forward to many years of collaboration with Quick Start.”
Previously, Quick Start partnered with Briggs & Stratton in training projects in 1994, 2002 and 2013.
The Statesboro facility began operation in 1995 and is the largest manufacturing employer in Bulloch County’s Gateway Industrial Park. The company recently moved production of its V-Twin Vanguard engines from a joint venture partnership in Japan that created nearly 100 new jobs in Statesboro.
Briggs & Stratton and its employees have been one of the largest financial supporters of the United Way in Bulloch County and employees provide leadership on various business and civic boards, including Leadership Bulloch and Kiwanis Club.
“Briggs & Stratton has been a great industry partner for many years, and we are so proud for them to receive this honor. It is truly deserved,” said Lori Durden, president of Ogeechee Technical College. Ogeechee Tech nominated Briggs & Stratton for the honor.
Other winners included P&G Albany Plant in Albany, Ga., which won the Large Manufacturer category, and Erdrich USA Inc. from Dublin, which won the Small Manufacturer category.
This is the 25th year celebrating Manufacturing Appreciation Week in Georgia. This year’s sponsors included the Georgia Association of Manufacturers, the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Power, and Aprio.
In his proclamation declaring April 15-19 as Manufacturing Appreciation Week, Gov. Kemp noted the tremendous contribution manufacturing makes to the state’s economic growth. According to the proclamation nearly 9,802 manufacturing facilities are located in Georgia, providing 406,602 jobs and generating more than $22.7 billion in wages for Georgia’s citizens. Manufacturing contributed more than $61 billion to the state’s economy last year.