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Executive Director’s Report

The group gathers at Irving Tissue at Sofkee Industrial Park in Macon-Bibb County. From L to R: Grover Hardin, Plant Manager, Irving Tissue; Baleigh Fleming, Operations & Finance Manager, MBCIA; Seth Clark, Commissioner District 5; Elaine Lucas, Commissioner District 3; Tyson Firlotte, Human Resources, Irving Tissue; Eleyce Coleman, Existing Industry Manager, MBCIA; Stephen Adams, Executive Director, MBCIA.

 This month, our team has made significant strides in ongoing projects with a couple of hard-earned wins! This month the approval for GRAD Select status came into our inbox for our Airport North Industrial Park, securing another dynamic and beneficial way the MBCIA supports the interest of world-wide industry coming to Macon-Bibb. We esteem our Project Manager, Gary Wilson, for his tireless diligence in accomplishing a yearlong endeavor resulting in the GRAD Select status that sets our commitment to area development apart. 

 Our commitment to fostering a robust and forward-thinking industrial environment in Macon-Bibb County remains strong, and we are excited about the potential these developments hold for our community. One of these new developments with a lot of potential is BrightFarms, a leader in the indoor farming industry. MBCIA celebrated their Groundbreaking and welcomed them as the newest member of the Airport East Industrial Park, another GRAD Certified Select site in Macon-Bibb County. MBCIA Chairman Robby Fountain shared a statement regarding the new regional greenhouse found on our website: MBCIA Chairman’s Statement. Please give it a read. 

As the MBCIA team continues to strengthen our partnerships with local industries and stakeholders, we also take time to celebrate the successes that are vital for the economic growth of our county. We are grateful for your ongoing support and look forward to achieving shared goals that continue to make us one of the best places to do business.  

Existing Industry Manager’s Report

MBCIA Board Member Dr. Cassandra Washington honors student entrepreneur and Georgia FLEX recipient Mykayla Whitehead.

October jump-started with honoring student entrepreneur and graduate of W.S. Hutchings College and Career Academy MyKayla Whitehead, a Georgia Foundational Leadership and Entrepreneurship Experience (FLEX) recipient. MyKayla is now known as an official Macon-Bibb small business owner and celebrated the launch of her new business Brittinique- Be Unique, a candle and soap boutique in Downtown Macon. MBCIA is a sponsor of the Georgia FLEX program, and this is the first year the Bibb County School District and the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce were selected to participate in the 2022-23 Georgia FLEX competition.  

 An exciting follow-up to last month’s Industry Partners Luncheon where Mr. Brian Cooksey, Director of Workforce Development from Shaw Industries, presented to our local industry partners the effectiveness of the Pathways Program to increase the pool of a well-trained, certified workforce. That luncheon sparked the interest of local industry giant Coca-Cola UNITED to learn more about effective strategies that help overcome workforce challenges and empower tomorrow’s skilled workforce.   

 Additionally, MBCIA continues to support our existing industries through various initiatives and gearing up for even more success as we approach the end of the calendar year. As always, our industry partner events aim to foster collaboration, appreciation, and awareness among our local stakeholders and industry partners that guarantee a better tomorrow.  

Letter from the Project Manager

We continue to be extremely busy in October as we started the fourth quarter and the march to the end of the year. We received the awesome news that after a year of diligence, the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) approved our largest contiguous property of 123 acres, Airport North, for GRAD Select status— more to come!  

We continue to receive interest from industries around the globe. The incentives for capital investment in Macon-Bibb County are big news, and just this month I have engaged with two foreign companies seeking to make large investments in our community as well as smaller regional companies that have our county on their radar.    

As a team, we welcomed Bright Farms indoor farming, a company I had the privilege of working with from day one of their interaction with MBCIA. BrightFarms’ state-of-the-art operation will produce pesticide-free lettuces that will reach consumers quickly with superior access to infrastructure. BrightFarms’ total estimated investment of 200 million dollars into area development also brings 250 new jobs and will award fifty percent of the construction to local contractors; what an impact! 

We are excited at MBCIA, and I wholeheartedly agree with the latest ranking from Area Development magazine that Georgia is the number one state in the country for doing business.   



Industry Spotlight

BrightFarms celebrates Groundbreaking ceremony with Macon-Bibb County Leadership. From L to R: Valerie Wynn, Commissioner District 1; Raymond Wilder, Commissioner District 6; Robby Fountain, Chairman, MBCIA; Mayor Lester Miller; John Schaefer, COO of BrightFarms; Paul Bronson, Commissioner District 2; Gary Bechtel, Chairman, Macon Water Authority; Ron Shipman, Executive Director, Macon Water Authority; Stephen Adams, Executive Director, MBCIA.

The MBCIA is excited to announce that BrightFarms, a leader in the indoor farming industry, has chosen Macon-Bibb County as the location for its newest regional greenhouse hub. BrightFarms, a Cox Enterprises company, broke ground this month as the newest industry at the Airport East Industrial Park. The campus will feature 1.8 million square feet of commercial greenhouse buildings that will employ over 250 people when it’s fully operational. 

The groundbreaking ceremony marked the first phase of construction with expected completion next year and will produce up to 2 million pounds of fresh, local, and pesticide-free greens per year for grocery stores in Georgia and neighboring states. 

BrightFarms claims that its greens are more nutritious, flavorful, and longer-lasting than those shipped from far away, and with award-winning water from the Macon Water Authority, their lettuces are sure to please. In choosing Macon-Bibb County as its new hub, BrightFarms brings economic benefits to our community while contributing to the environmental and health benefits of our region. 

The MBCIA proudly welcomes BrightFarms as our new industry partner and looks forward to seeing their greenhouses flourish in our county.  

BrightFarms celebrates Groundbreaking ceremony with Macon-Bibb County Leadership and the MBCIA team. 


Community Partner Feature

Macon-Bibb County leadership and the MBCIA celebrate launch of HighNote Aviation the new FBO company for the Middle Georgia Regional Airport.

This month, MBCIA celebrated Middle Georgia Regional Airport’s launch of HighNote Aviation as the new fixed-base operator (FBO) company for the airport with plans to rebuild the current FBO building. The plans for the new building truly honor the music history of the area, and when prospective industries travel here, they will be met with a one-of-a-kind building that captures the heart of our community. Macon-Bibb County will now provide services such as fueling, hangar space and ground transportation while connecting customers with local organizations. 

Macon-Bibb is soaring to new heights, and the MBCIA stands ready to come alongside all our community partners to support business and area development for the future.