The Augusta Economic Development Authority announced today that Starbucks will nearly double the size of their Augusta manufacturing facility, adding 140,000 square feet to their current 180,000 square feet, and will create up to 100 new jobs. The announcement was made this morning by Starbucks Corporate Headquarters in Seattle.
Construction on the new facility will begin this summer and will be completed in the fall of 2019. The expansion is prompted by Starbucks growth and consumer demand.The Augusta plant currently employs 185 Starbucks partners. The new jobs will cover a range of positions, according to Tim Filipowski, the plant director. Of the 185 positions “Because of the technical nature of our business here, we have recruited heavily for automation specialists, operators, mechanics and technicians,” said Filipowski. “Generally, the folks coming out of the service have some or all of those experiences.” The plant maintains a close relationship with Fort Gordon. In addition to hosting job fairs at the base, Starbucks conducts regular plant tours for service members, maintains an Adopt A Unit program and supports the annual Fisher House Golf Tournament, which generates funds to aid families of patients receiving care at military and Veterans Administration medical
In 2013, Starbucks set a goal to hire 10,000 service members, veterans and military spouses by 2018. The company reached that goal earlier this year and announced a new target of 25,000 by 2025 at the Starbucks Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Walt Sprouse, Executive Director of the Augusta Economic Development Authority, said the connection between Starbucks and the Fort Gordon community is mutually beneficial. “We have many people who leave the military after three, six or twenty years and they are excellent workers,” Sprouse said. “Starbucks did their research and have found many qualified workers
here in Augusta.”
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said the expansion in Augusta affirms the region’s reputation as a gateway to the Southeastern market. ““As Georgia grows its reputation as the gateway to the Southeastern market, companies like Starbucks continue to strategically locate and expand operations here.” said Deal. “This decision to expand in Augusta reflects Georgia’s
ability to retain dynamic companies and support industry leaders in long-term growth. With this facility expansion, Starbucks will continue to enjoy the benefits of manufacturing in the top state for business, while creating new jobs in the Augusta area, including additional opportunities for veterans.
We appreciate our ongoing relationship with Starbucks and look forward to the company’s continued success in Georgia.”Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis, Jr., said “This is a further testament to the skilled workforce of the Augusta Community. We are very pleased to have this commitment to continued investment by Starbucks.”
Henry Ingram, Chairman of the Augusta Economic Development Authority, said, “We always had faith in Starbucks that they would want to expand here. We knew Starbucks would bring a lot of prestige and provide excellent jobs in manufacturing. We are thrilled with today’s news, and are glad to be a part of the location and expansion of this fine company.”
Starbucks opened the plant in Augusta in July 2012. It is the first company-owned facility in the world to produce Starbucks soluble products. The plant’s two roasters generate Starbucks VIA ® Instant, as well as the coffee base for Frappuccino® blended beverages and many of Starbucks bottled and canned beverages. The expansion will add six new whole bean roasters, allowing the plant to offer packaged coffee to Starbucks stores and retail locations in
the Northeast and Southeast United States.
Both Ingram and Sprouse thanked Adela Kelley of the Georgia Department of Economic Development and Dr. Lisa Palmer of Augusta Technical College for their work on this project.
When finished, Starbucks will have more than a quarter of a billion dollars invested in Augusta-Richmond County at the Augusta Corporate Park.
Source: Augusta Economic Development Authority
Author: Walter Sprouse/Executive Director