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Leadership Dodge Attends Local Industry Session | Business

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Leadership Dodge Attends Local Industry Session
Leadership Dodge Attends Local Industry Session

On April 9, 2013, Leadership Dodge attended its session focused on local industry. Ryan Waldrep, Region 9 Project Manager with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, presented an overview of his role in helping communities grow to their full potential by interacting with prospects and sourcing locations for new economic growth in the 17 counties he serves. Waldrep discussed the importance of economic development at the local level, where the importance of teamwork, cooperation, and commitment is as vital as an area’s workforce and infrastructure.

 A tour of Heart of Georgia Metal Crafters, led by Stephen Pritchett, impressed the participants with the products and machinery Metal Crafters utilizes in advanced manufacturing. “The highlight for me was to see the wonderful technology being used in our community, particularly at Metal Crafters.  It was amazing and very informative as to how products that we use are made,” said Dr. Rick Mitchell.

Lunch, sponsored by Alcoa Architectural Products, allowed the class to discuss the advances made in manufacturing. Kristal DiCarlo led a facility tour of Alcoa Architectural Products and presented the company’s successful philosophy of lean manufacturing, sustainability, and continuously high safety record.

Attending a plaque presentation for one of the Chamber’s newest members, Eastman Surgical Associates, followed.

Next, the class toured Graphic Packaging. Keith Downing, Plant Manager, presented a history of Graphic Packaging, beginning with its roots as Gilman Paper Company in 1988. Downing explained the different types of bags Graphic Packaging produces, such as pasted valve, sewn, and compactor. A tour of the facility gave the class a look at the mechanics of the production lines, including the tubers, sewing lines, webbers, and robotics. Primary customers of Graphic packaging include businesses that market building supplies, food products, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. Downing explained that the facility has four production lines running 24/7, which would not be possible without the hard work of Graphic employees and their Dodge County spirit.

For more information on the Leadership Dodge program, please contact the Eastman-Dodge County Chamber of Commerce at 478-374-4723 or visit www.eastman-georgia.com.

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