Tuesday, May 12, 2009

General Mills to Locate New Distribution Center in Social Circle

Multinational company will create 112 jobs and invest $42 million in Walton County facility

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that global food company General Mills plans to locate a new distribution center in Social Circle, investing $42 million and creating 112 jobs.

“I am thrilled to see one of the world’s largest food companies continue to grow right here in Georgia,” said Governor Perdue. “Georgia’s status as the ‘corner store’ of the Southeast makes it a perfect location for distribution centers, and our quality workforce ensures that businesses will get their products to market on time and under budget.”

General Mills will contract with a third-party logistics provider to staff and run the 1.5 million-square-foot distribution center, which will be located along Hightower Road in Walton County. The facility will distribute the General Mills family of products throughout the Southeast.

The distribution center will be built to meet LEED certification, an internationally recognized certification system that measures how well a building or community performs across the following metrics: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. This will make it one of the largest buildings in the country to meet LEED certification standards.

General Mills has been an employer in Georgia since 1989, when the company opened a manufacturing facility in Covington. Governor Perdue visited the General Mills facility in Covington in September 2008 to recognize the plant’s reduction in water usage after the company installed a $6 million treatment plant that trimmed the plant’s water usage by an average of 46 percent – or about 5.3 million gallons per month, enough to supply about 1,000 homes.

For the new distribution center, the company will use the services of the Georgia Department of Labor to solicit applications and Georgia Quick Start to train employees. Permanent job hiring will not occur until early 2010.

“General Mills is pleased to be growing our presence in Georgia with the new distribution center in Social Circle,” said Kevin Schoen, Vice President of Logistics for General Mills. “Our Covington team demonstrates day after day the dedication of Georgia employees, and we are excited by the strategic logistic location that Social Circle offers.”

“On behalf of the Board of Commissioners and citizens of Walton County we are extremely proud to welcome General Mills to our community,” said Kevin Little, Chairman-Walton County Board of Commissioners. “With our current economy, this is a great commitment from General Mills to invest in new jobs and investment.”

“Metro Atlanta and Georgia continue to be one of the global gateways of choice and a premier location for companies to manage their supply chains,” said Bob Pertierra, vice president of supply chain for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. “Our location in the Southeast, access to market and world-class airport continue to be a draw for companies.”

Mary Douglass, project manager for the Georgia Department of Economic Development, assisted General Mills in its location process.

About the company
One of the world's leading food companies, General Mills operates in over 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A., General Mills had fiscal 2008 global net sales of US$14.9 billion, including the company’s $1.2 billion proportionate share of joint venture net sales. For more information, please contact Heidi Geller at 763-764-6364.

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