This study, as requested by Twiggs County, looks at local, regional, and national markets to determine target industries that the county should focus on in their Targeting Strategy. This study uses key economic variables, like forecasts of growth in employment by sector and the relative costs of productions, along with economic theory to determine which industries will most likely consider Twiggs County to be a valuable location. Moreover, it shows which sectors will have the highest probability of finding significant economic value because of Twiggs’ comparative advantage over other counties in the United States.
In a preliminary meeting with officials in Twiggs County, a set of criteria was established as a base for the Target Strategy. Such components deemed critical were the following: move away from a specialized workforce to a diversified workforce, attract more low risk/secure industries, focus on a moderate to low skilled workforce for the short term, and attract a laborintensive industry. In addition to the criteria for the Targeting Strategy, the officials also indicated the following as important assets: location relative to the interstates and the ports, cheap land, and the access to the Piedmont Aquifer for water. Based on the key data elements and the criteria from Twiggs County, the following is a summary of the findings by the three suggested target industries:
• Machinery & Computers (SIC 35)
o The Machinery component of this sector employs multiple metal forming
processes in manufacturing the various parts of the machine and includes an
assembly production process.
o There is currently 744 jobs within this sector in the Macon Area in 2004 and is
expected to grow by 46.5% by 2020.
o The Macon Area has a relatively lower labor cost, fuel cost, capital cost, and
delivered prices when comparing this sector to the U.S.
o Access to the major interstates and the port are critical for this sector and is
complementary to the location of Twiggs County.
o The low and moderate level skilled labor force needed can be easily trained by
one of the three technical colleges within the area.
• Measuring, Analyzing, and Controlling Instruments (SIC 38)
o The Instruments sector is engaged in manufacturing instruments for measuring,
testing, analyzing, and controlling.
o This is an emerging sector in both the U.S. and the Macon Area. The U.S. has
an expected growth rate in employment of 33.4% between 2004 and 2020.
o The Macon Area and Twiggs County have a relatively lower fuel cost, capital
cost, and delivered price when comparing this sector to the U.S.
o This sector will require a good portion of moderate leveled skilled workers and
a few high skilled workers.
o The labor force for an industry in this sector will come from both the three
technical colleges in the area and either Georgia Tech or Georgia Southern
(two major Universities providing an engineering program).
• Warehousing & Distribution (SIC 48-49)
o The Warehousing Distribution sector, which is different from Transportation,
includes the warehousing and storage of goods and activities such as freight
o There are currently 2,371 jobs within this sector in the Macon Area in 2004 and
this number is expected to grow by 1.79% by 2020.
o Twiggs County has a relatively lower labor cost, fuel cost, and capital cost
when comparing this sector to the U.S.
o This sector will require a good portion of low to moderate leveled skilled
workers and tends to be a labor-intensive industry.
o The labor force for this sector generally comes from technical colleges. Middle
Georgia Technical College offers a commercial truck driving degree and
Georgia Southern offers business degrees in logistics and intermodal
transportation. This study shows that these three sectors (Machinery & Computers; Measuring, Analyzing, and Controlling Instruments; and Warehousing & Distribution) are not only a good fit when compared to the regional assets, but can also provide a relative cost advantage to those potential industries.
Click here for the full Twiggs County: Business and Industry Targeting Study.