Optimization at MillersCoors could mean jobs for Albany - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Optimization at MillersCoors could mean jobs for Albany

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

October 27, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Thousands of layoffs at Merck, Chrysler, and Xerox and jobs in jeopardy at Cooper Tire have dominated the headlines, but it appears an Albany industry may soon have some promising news about new jobs.

MillerCoors employs as many as 600 people at the Albany Brewery and they could be adding to their numbers. The company is conducting a network optimizing study that could result in increased production at the Albany plant.

While the MillerCoors spokesman was hesitant to put a number on how many new jobs they might have in Albany, they say an increase is coming and it will be announced in the next several weeks. It's how the Economic Development Commission says jobs need to be created, from existing companies in the community.

A tough economy means many businesses are re-evaluating the bottom line. The recent merger of Miller and Coors Brewing was followed by a network optimization study and now that study could add up to new jobs for Albany.

"We think because of our tremendous workforce and because of our high production capacity that if they choose a plant to grow or increase production we certainly hope this is one of them," said Jeff Sinyard, Albany-Dougherty Payroll Development Authority Chairman.

MillerCoors spokesman Julian Green tells us the study looks to increase production by optimizing work at their brewing facilities. He expects jobs in Albany to increase, but by how many hasn't been determined.

Economic Development officials say 80 percent of new jobs in a community come from existing business.

"There's a misconception that it's new industry that creates jobs and while it does indeed create jobs almost 80 percent of all new jobs in a community is jobs through expansion of existing industry," said Albany Dougherty Economic Development Commission spokeswoman Barbara Rivera Holmes.

The Economic Development Commission has started a business expansion and retention program that provides assistance through tax credits and bonds. The Quick Start program also offers free training for employers and is one of the biggest draws for industry in Georgia.

"All of us as Americans are going through some very unique times specifically the economy and if we're able as a brewery and south Georgia to participate in some growth and production and consequently that's turn into some growth of jobs that would be magnificent for our economy," said Sinyard.

Development officials say any type of addition to the workforce at the Albany plant is really in part due to the current workforce at the brewery.

MillerCoors Officials say more about the plans for the Albany plant will be released in the coming weeks.

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