About 200 jobs will be added to Georgia's workforce by 2021 as one of the largest Coca-Cola bottlers in the nation plans to open a new sales center in the state.
Coca-Cola Bottling Company United announced that it will be investing $60 million into the facility slated to open in Tifton, Georgia.
Gov. Brian Kemp applauded the news on Thursday.
“As one of our most beloved and deeply-rooted brands, any time the Coca-Cola system expands, it’s good news for the State of Georgia,” Kemp said.
Headquartered in Alabama, the Coca-Cola Bottling Company United has around five dozen locations spread across Southeastern America. Georgia is home to 23 Coca-Cola United facilities, more than any of the other states.
The Tifton center will encompass another facility 25 miles away in Sylvester. The employees from the smaller site will be transferred to Tifton, where they will help work on the distribution of 4.5 million cases of Coca-Cola products throughout South Georgia and the Florida panhandle.
The new facility is scheduled to open in late 2021. Employees would be expected to be hired for positions in the sales and distribution center, warehouse and office.
The labor force in Southern Georgia, where Tifton is located, has increased over the past year.
A little more than 3,000 jobs were added in the area, 906 of which were added in August, according to the state’s labor department.
There are currently around 179,000 total members of the labor force, around 172,000 of them are employed. More than half of Tifton’s population is over 18 and under 65 years old, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. The median income in the city is $31,000.
The unemployment rate in Tifton is 0.2 percent points above the state’s unemployment rate at 3.9 percent.
Georgia’s unemployment rate is slightly higher than the national rate of 3.7 percent in August. Statewide numbers for September have not yet been released. The national rate dropped to 3.5 percent in September.
“Great things are happening in Tifton, Georgia, and we are excited to welcome Coca-Cola UNITED to Tifton as our newest corporate partner,” said Brian Marlowe, president and CEO of the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce and the Tift County Development Authority.