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Executive Director’s Report

MBCIA celebrates Employee Appreciation Day.

As we enter this second quarter of 2024, I am struck with the excellence I regularly see within our MBCIA team, our industry partners, and our industries. This excellence is the culmination of consistent efforts, and it is important to recognize that work. First, I would like to recognize our own talent. We kicked off the month on a high note, honoring the heart of the MBCIA on Employee Appreciation Day by celebrating our staff. It was important that we took a moment to recognize these dedicated public servants. I am so proud of this incredible team, who each work to carefully steward our resources to have maximum impact!

I am thrilled to share that MBCIA Chairman Robby Fountain earned state-level recognition in his recent selection by JAMES Magazine as one of our state’s Most Influential Georgians in 2024! This is a selective group of Georgia’s best leaders in politics, business, education, the judiciary, and the media. Those of us who work with Robby know he is among the best. We are fortunate to have Robby’s vision and leadership spearheading industry investment in Macon-Bibb.

Second, it is important that we recognize the outstanding industry and community partners we have in Macon-Bibb. Each quarter we will now showcase these efforts with our Industry Partner Feature. We look to feature collaborations that serve as examples of what is achievable when we identify and share common goals.

Third, it is important to recognize the job opportunities being created and retained by our industries. As our industries actively seek new talent, we plan to amplify those efforts and encourage you to share those opportunities as well.

Finally, it is worthwhile to acknowledge that Macon-Bibb is indeed an extraordinary place to live! Much like our industries, our outstanding community events offer a mix of familiar festivals and cultural attractions as well as new venues and experiences. As another fantastic year of Cherry Blossom Activities unfolded, our community marked a season of an abundance of joy and purposeful engagement. We are proud to have been part of this cherished tradition, celebrating unity and togetherness with a whole lot of pink pomp and pizzazz. We are so grateful to the Cherry Blossom Board of Directors and everyone who accomplishes the yearly tradition in Macon that we have come to know and love.

We also applaud the opening of the Atrium Health Amphitheatre. The inaugural performance truly set the stage alight, and this landmark addition to our community marks a new chapter in our cultural landscape, promising unforgettable moments for years to come.

For more updates and insights into our ongoing initiatives, don’t forget to visit our MBCIA Facebook page.

Together, let’s continue to build a thriving, resilient, and dynamic community.

Existing Industry Manager’s Report

Community officials at the DECAL launch of a new Childcare Initiative in Middle Georgia. From L to R: Eleyce Coleman, Existing Industry Manager, MBCIA; Shavonda Hill, Outreach Director, Office of Senator Warnock; Jessica Walden, President, Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce.

In January, we featured the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) program funded through the Expanding Parents’ Access to Nontraditional Delivery (EXPAND) grant. We are thrilled to see the program’s launch in March. This initiative will support the workforce in Macon-Bibb who have young children by expanding access to high-quality childcare services outside of traditional business hours. This is made possible by grants to licensed and approved childcare providers. This effort supports our existing industry immensely by increasing workforce consistency and aiding productivity. This was a project all of us at here MBCIA were excited to champion. This grant addressed real life problems that we, or those we know, have faced.

On behalf of MBCIA, Elyece worked closely with our community partner Atrium Health Navicent and DECAL leadership for many months to successfully incorporate valuable grant dollars into the community, pioneering the effort aimed at supporting job retention and fortifying the region’s economic fabric. Now that the participating childcare providers are set to support non-traditional hours of care. We are very hopeful of the programs as its full potential to support Macon-Bibb families has yet to be fully discovered. To see a list of participating day care centers and to read the press release of the new childcare initiative launch visit: Read the full press release of the new childcare initiative launch to see a list of participating day care centers.

Letter from the Project Manager

Agile Cold Storage is on the brink of becoming operational! What does this mean for Macon-Bibb? It translates to more high-paying jobs—110 to be exact! Our recent tour of their new facility left us in awe. With six locations either completed or nearing completion, Agile Cold Storage demonstrates unparalleled expertise. Their state-of-the-art technology, capable of reaching impressive pallet heights, reflects their commitment to excellence. They have spared no expense in both facility construction and operational procedures, emphasizing rigorous training and system implementation. Stay tuned for job postings available on their website.

SAIA LTL Freight’s project is underway at Ocmulgee East Industrial Park in East Macon and is one of three sites currently under construction within the park. Once serving as Camp Wheeler during WWI, the park’s transformation into an industrial hub began in the early 1980s. The recent additions of Mr. Chips, Fine Fettle, Agile Cold Storage, and SAIA since 2017 signify Macon-Bibb’s robust industry growth.

Keep growing,


Industry Partnership Feature

The strategic partnership between Armstrong World Industries (AWI) and Irving Tissue is driving tangible progress in environmental conservation. The advantages of the Armstrong and Irving partnership extend beyond corporate boundaries and directly benefit the Macon-Bibb County area by reducing their environmental impact. The industries joined forces to create initiatives aimed at waste reduction, resource conservation, and the promotion of sustainable practices.

In the middle of 2022, Irving Tissue started sending its leftover tissue materials to AWI’s mineral fiber plant. This move helped Armstrong decrease its reliance on buying recycled newsprint for making ceilings. By doing this, AWI and Irving Tissue plan to keep over 3,500 tons of waste fiber out of landfills every year. This supports their goals of reusing materials and reducing waste, which is good for the environment.

Their collaboration serves as a model for other industries, illustrating the value of sustainable partnerships in fostering innovation and advancement. MBCIA commends Armstrong World Industries and Irving Tissue for their exemplary leadership and commitment to building a greener, more prosperous future for Macon-Bibb County and beyond.

Community Partner Feature

The Macon Water Authority’s (MWA) diligent efforts provide public water and sewer services for Macon and Bibb County. This month we honor the MWA’s commendable efforts in conducting quarterly cleaning of interstate overpasses, contributing to a cleaner and more inviting community environment.

Teaming up with the Parks & Beautification Department (PBD), MWA played a crucial role in the recent focused cleanup of county-owned bridges. During this initiative, MWA’s crews diligently worked to clean 45 bridges, successfully removing approximately nine tons of debris.

This significant endeavor underscores MWA’s commitment to environmental stewardship and community enhancement. By ensuring the cleanliness of key entry points to our community, MWA is helping to create a positive first impression for residents and visitors alike.

As we commend MWA for their dedication to maintaining cleaner streets and bridges, we encourage everyone to support their ongoing efforts to make Macon-Bibb County a more beautiful place to live and visit.

For more information on MWA’s initiatives and services, please visit their website.

Prospect Activity

It was our pleasure to host four Project Managers from the Georgia Department of Economic Development this past month. On our tour, we visited all available sites displaying our rigorous growth and industry investment happening here in Macon-Bibb County.