P&G plan costs $35M - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

P&G plan costs $35M

September 25, 2007

Albany --  Procter and Gamble will invest up to $35 million at its Albany plant to create a new converting line, creating 34 jobs in the process. The new converting lines will be the first of its kind at any of the Procter and Gamble plants, and could lead to future expansions if the company can overcome several drawbacks that make the Albany plant less competitive.  

Three billion times a day Procter and Gamble brands touch the lives of consumers including products produced in Albany. The new $35 million prototype line, unique to the Albany plant, will improve flexibility and production.  "You can't get a second until you have the first one, and it's been a while since we've had one, and that's what he was getting at, at least this was a start," said P&G External Affairs spokesman Vince Falcione.

Actually it's been seven years since the Albany plant expanded. Construction of the new line will begin in the spring and promises 30 company jobs, but the impact in the community will be greater. "Those 30 jobs are going to have a domino affect of almost four other jobs per person so it's great for our economy," said Dougherty County Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard.

Further expansion in Albany may be in the cards, if this new line goes well and if P&G can overcome two big competitive disadvantages. 1:07:19 Vince4 "We need to be more competitive when it comes to health care costs, as a state we need to get rid of the sales tax on energy. We're the last state in the south that still charges a sale tax on energy, and when you think about a facility like us, the energy that we use you're talking big bucks there," said Falcione.

"We've got to be competitive on all fronts, whether it's an energy tax, a statewide tax whether it's healthcare whatever the issues are that affect manufacturing jobs, it's important that those become addressed, and that we stay on top of those issues," said Sinyard.

Procter and Gamble employs more than 1,200 workers at the Albany plant. This is their 35 year in operation in Albany.  

Three quarters of the jobs created in Georgia last year were created through expansions like Procter and Gamble's.   Economic Development leaders say while it is important to attract new business to Georgia, expansions of current businesses like Procter and Gamble's lines are the state's lifeblood to new jobs.

"It gets back to the existing customer perspective, they're our most important one, we've got to take care of them and in Georgia our existing companies accounted for about three quarters of our job announcement and investment in the state last year," said Ken Stewart, Ga. Economic Development Commissioner.

 Two weeks ago, BathCraft announced a major expansion at its Valdosta plant and last week Wilo opened its new plant in Thomasville.

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