A joint proclamation by Jeff Sinyard, chairman of the Dougherty County Commission, and Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard declared April 2-6 as Albany-Dougherty Industry Celebration Week.
ALBANY, Ga. -- SASCO Chemical Group, Phoebe Putney Health System, Central Monitoring and Gerdau Long Steel North America were the big winners of the 2012 EDC Industry Awards Wednesday at the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce's Rise N Shine breakfast.
The event was part of the EDC's Industry Celebration Week.
The purpose of the celebration week is not only to honor specific businesses, but to also create exposure for local industry in general and to expose residents to the variety of industries located in the community.
"We haven't forgotten you're here," said Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard to the business representatives present at the Hilton Garden Inn, "and we appreciate what you're doing in providing jobs."
"Existing industries are the backbone of our economy," said Barbara Rivera Holmes, director of marketing and existing industries at the EDC. "They're the ones that continue to invest year after year.
"In the last few months we've announced more than 400 jobs, and more than half of those are from existing industries. We need to make sure that we're mindful to congratulate them on their successes and we're cognizant of their contributions."
Awards were given to businesses in areas of Global Commerce, Economic Impact, Excellence in Innovation, and the Good Life City Award for corporate community citizenship.
The Global Commerce Award was presented to SASCO Chemical group for its rapid advancement in the exportation of rubber-related products to countries outside the United States and Canada.
According to Ted Clem, president of the Albany-Dougherty EDC, SASCO's 2012 exports have increased 300 to 400 percent over 2011. The award was accepted by Rusty Skalla, CEO of the family-owned business, who credited efforts of the EDC for SASCO's recent decision to expand in Albany rather than relocate to Atlanta.
"Hopefully, we'll break ground on another expansion here in about six months," Skalla said.
The Economic Impact Award was received my Joe Austin, chief operating officer, on behalf of Phoebe Health System. Clem said Phoebe has invested millions over the past 25 years and has an annual economic impact of more than $1 billion. Phoebe employs more 5,000 people, Clem said.
The Excellence in Innovation award went to Central Monitoring. Accepting the award was Mike White, service manager for the company and the developer of the Pivot Alarm.
According to Clem's address, the Pivot Alarm, which is trademarked with a patent pending, was the answer to growing theft of copper wire from irrigation pivots. The device is solar powered and alerts the pivot owner when the span cable on the pivot has been disturbed. Clem said the Pivot Alarm is now manufactured locally by Alarm Services.
The Good Life City Award for Corporate Community Citizenship was given to Gerdau Long Steel North America, a Brazil-based "mini-mill" steel producer and steel recycling center. Accepting the award for the company was Jeffery Clack, Albany site manager.
"I'd like to challenge each one of us to get involved in the community," Clack said. "It's important to give back your time, money and resources to the community and make it a better place to live."
"I think this was about community pride," said Jeff "Bodine" Sinyard, chairman of the Dougherty County Commission, after the event.
"It's about letting our industries and manufacturers know that we celebrate the jobs, and letting folks know you appreciate them. All these jobs collectively can make the difference in our community, and whether you're an existing manufacturer or a service industry it takes all of these for the big pie to turn into something profitable that works for everybody."