LULA – Georgia Governor Brian Kemp visited the Kubota Manufacturing of America plant Thursday morning as part of his statewide “Georgia Made Tour”.
Kemp entered the sprawling plant on 180-acres in the Gateway Industrial Centre and was greeted by Hiro Arai, president of KMA. Arai told Kemp he was a bit nervous, to which Kemp responded, “I own a Kubota tractor. I’m just one of your customers.”
Two months ago Kubota announced plans to spend $85-million to expand local operations and Kemp wanted to thank Kubota management in person.
After a private tour of the facility Kemp’s entourage traveled a few miles down State Route 365 to address the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce on the campus of Lanier Technical College. He was introduced to the 250 guests and GHCC members by former Governor Nathan Deal.
Deal gestured toward Kemp, the 83rd governor of Georgia and his successor, and said, “It’s a difficult thing to be the leader of anything…very few organizations can have any degree of success unless there is a strong leader at the top, and I think that we’re fortunate to have just such a person as our governor.”
Kemp, who took office a little over eight months ago, told chamber members he wants to continue in the direction Deal has the state headed.
He said he hopes to increase emphasis on responsible budgetary restraint and fostering business opportunities in underdeveloped parts of the state.
“My administration is committed to living within our means in the years to come,” Kemp said. “That’s why last month I directed state agencies to streamline their operations in the amended 2020 and 2021 budgets.”
“I know firsthand that when you have hard time that is not the time to start making cuts, and we’re going to get ahead of that. I don’t believe hard times are coming, but now is a great opportunity for us to streamline government and make it more efficient while times are relatively good.”
Kemp pointed out that Georgia has been named the best state in the nation for business for a sixth consecutive year. He said in the most recent year $7.4-billion was invested in new businesses in Georgia and that 74-percent of the jobs created by that investment are outside the I-285 perimeter.
In response to that fact he announced that he was creating a, “Rural Strike Team that will be laser-focused on bringing jobs and economic development to communities outside of metro Atlanta and other metro areas of our state, in rural Georgia.”
“This Strike Team will partner with local leaders to identify, market, and prepare mega-sites…sites between a 1000 and 1500 acres for big projects,” Kemp explained.
“Companies around the world continue to look for shovel-ready sites,” Kemp added, and he wants rural areas in Georgia to have such sites available.
To hear the governor’s speech in its entirety use the audio player attached to this story.