Last Thursday was a great day for Upson County, with one of the largest industries in the area, Quad Graphics, being awarded the 2012 Manufacturer of the Year for a medium sized company by Governor Nathan Deal during the Manufacturers Appreciation Week luncheon held in Atlanta.
“It’s great to be a manufacturer in Georgia,” said Jeff Stribling, Plant Director for Quad, “and in Thomaston, Georgia we are surviving and doing well. I am very humbled to accept the award today and realize it would not be possible without the steadfast, numerous individuals and organizations that support us.”
Stribling attributed Quad’s success to the partnerships that they have formed throughout the community over the years and noted that success in these economic times would not have been possible without them. He thanked local government officials, the Georgia Quickstart program for training their employees, Southern Crescent Technical College for continuing improvements in education, the Thomaston-Upson School system, the Chamber of Commerce, the department of Georgia Economic Development, and Quad Graphics Chairman and CEO Joel Quadracci for all of the support they have given to The Rock plant.
“Howeve,r today’s award is not about Quad Graphics, the plant or the building at The Rock,” continued Stribling. “It is about the employees, the 430 people that come to work every day because they are dedicated to the company. We thank you for your dedication to not only Quad, but the community as well.”
After being founded in 1971 by Harry Quadracci and his family in rural Wisconsin, Quad expanded into Georgia in 1989, opening the plant at The Rock. Ten years later, it was the only Quad plant left in West Central Georgia and one of the largest manufacturing facilities in the area. Eric Steinbach, Quad Graphics corporate Vice President of operations for magazines and catalogs, stated that The Rock plant continually acts as stewards of the company’s core values and is one of the main reasons for the company being successful in this part of the country.
“It was the pledge of our founder, Harry Quadracci, that our team at The Rock would stay committed to Georgia,” said Steinbach. “They have exceeded Harry’s expectations and are the prime reasons for our business success in Georgia.”
Quad Graphics, along with Tencate Protective Fabrics and Solo Cup, were nominated for the award by Southern Crescent Technical College. Dr. Randall Peters, President of Southern Crescent Technical College stated, “This award reflects on the leadership of Quad Graphics, as well as their active participation in their community. This year marks the 18th annual Manufacturer’s Appreciation Week, meaning that Quad Graphics is only the 18th company in the history of Georgia to be recognized in this fashion. This is an honor reserved for only the best of the best and we are proud of the Quad Graphics team and certainly pleased about our close and continuous relationship with them. I look forward to many more years of partnership with such high performing professionals.”
Three manufacturers are chosen each year in categories based on the size of their employment – 150 or fewer, 151-500, and greater than 500. The other award winners were Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia in West Point for a large manufacturer and Cartersville’s Applied Thermoplastic Resources for a small manufacturer as the state’s 2012 Manufacturers of the Year.
To underline his support for manufacturing and making Georgia the best place to do business, Gov. Deal used the opportunity to sign HB 386, the Georgia Jobs and Family Tax Reform Plan, before the awards presentation ceremony. HB 386 eliminates the state sales tax on energy used in manufacturing and provides a variety of tax cuts for Georgians.