Gwinnett honors top manufacturers

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Four Gwinnett-based companies nominated for the Georgia Manufacturer of the Year awards were honored Thursday.

Ole Mexican Foods, EZ Prints, Elesys North America and Micromeritics were recognized during the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce's second annual Gwinnett Manufacturer's Appreciation Breakfast at Gwinnett Technical College.

"The breakfast is designed to share our community's appreciation and pride for the work and significant impact that Gwinnett-based manufacturers are having on the state's economic climate," said Alison Starnes, manufacturing and logistics business development manager for the Gwinnett Chamber. "It reflects both the support we have for existing industry and our desire to see them remain and grow in Gwinnett."

The Georgia Manufacturer of the Year awards are announced during the annual Georgia Manufacturers' Appreciation Week every spring. Companies are nominated for exhibiting a high degree of corporate responsibility, direct economic impact on Georgia and work force excellence in their respective environments. This year's awards were won by Star Granite and Bronze, The Boeing Co. and Frito Lay.

"The manufacturing industry is one of the strongest in Georgia and makes our work force training program, Quickstart, No. 1 in the nation," Gwinnett Tech President Sharon Bartels said. "Work force development is our primary mission, so it's a true privilege to honor these organizations and work with them to create jobs and wealth for Gwinnett and the state."

Partnership Gwinnett, the Chamber-led community and economic development initiative to promote jobs and wealth for Gwinnett and the Greater Atlanta community, focuses on five targeted sectors, manufacturing and logistics being one.

In 2008, Partnership Gwinnett and the Gwinnett Chamber created the Gwinnett Manufacturing and Logistics Council, according to a news release. The council's mission is to foster an environment that encourages growth, development and collaboration between the region's manufacturers and logistic firms. It also works to promote and recognize the contributions that existing industry brings to the community every year.