Gov. Nathan Deal has named King’s Hawaiian Bakery East in Oakwood the winner of the 2017 Manufacturer of the Year award in the category of Large Manufacturer (500 or more employees).
The award, along with others saluting manufacturing in Georgia, was given at a luncheon on Thursday as part of the state's annual Manufacturing Appreciation Week.
“It really is an honor to be here,” said Mark Taira, CEO of King’s Hawaiian. “Georgia has something very, very special. It's got 'aloha.' And that's being a gracious host, sharing, kindness, and collaboration.”
King’s Hawaiian earned the title of Manufacturer of the Year due to the rapid expansion of its Oakwood location on Aloha Way, which employs 600 people and represents a capital investment of more than $160 million.
Other winners included Statesboro’s Great Dane, which won in the category of 150-500 employees, and Grenzebach Corporation, located in Newnan, which won in the category of 150 employees or fewer.
This is the 23rd year celebrating Manufacturing Appreciation Week in Georgia. This year’s sponsors included The Georgia Association of Manufacturers, The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Power, and HA+W | Aprio. Other exhibitors at the luncheon included APICS – The Association for Operations Management, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Georgia’s Center of Innovation for Manufacturing, the Georgia Department of Labor, the Georgia Employers Association, the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance, Georgia Trend, Next Generation Manufacturing, and the Technology Association of Georgia Manufacturing Society.
In his proclamation declaring April 24-28 as Manufacturing Appreciation Week, Gov. Deal noted the tremendous contribution manufacturing makes to the state’s economic well-being. Approximately 10,059 manufacturing facilities are located in Georgia, according to the proclamation, and they provide roughly 386,600 jobs, generating nearly $20.3 billion in wages for Georgia’s citizens and contributing more than $100 billion to the state’s economy each year.
The three winning companies were nominated by business and civic leaders and chosen for their excellence and contributions to the state’s economy and their respective local communities.