For many Georgia manufacturers, this is their week to shine. Developed by the Technical College System of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Manufacturing Appreciation Week (MAW) is a time to recognize manufacturers around the state who demonstrate corporate responsibility, economic impact on Georgia, and workforce excellence.
As timing would have it, Statesboro-based Braswell Food Company received word last week that it had been selected as a Silver Finalist in two categories in the 2011 NASFT (National Association for the Specialty Food Trade) sofi Awards competition. The sofi Awards recognize excellence in specialty foods and beverages in 33 categories and are considered the top honor in the $70-billion specialty food industry.
Braswell's Select Smoky Chipotle Mustard was selected as a finalist in the Outstanding Condiment category and Braswell's Select Balsamic Sweet Onion Jam was selected as an Outstanding Jam, Preserve, Honey or Nut Butter Finalist.
In honor of Manufacturing Appreciation Week, here are a few interesting facts about Braswell's that you may not know. Braswell's manufactures more than 300 specialty products in over 26 categories. The most popular categories are preserves, salad dressings and sauces. Braswell's most popular product is its Fig Preserve - the same product that Mr. Braswell started the company with 65 years ago.
Braswell's can produce over 10,000 cases of products each day. That means that each year Braswell's can fill up all of the pools and water attractions at Splash in the ‘Boro almost five times.
Braswell's currently packages products for celebrity chef Paula Deen and entertainer Jeff Foxworthy. They also produced country artist's Alan Jackson's private recipe hot sauce.
Most importantly, Braswell's has continued to grow and provide much needed jobs to our area, even during this historic economic downturn.
As Braswell's celebrates its recognition, I am hopeful that another local manufacturer will receive notoriety this week as well.
Ogeechee Technical College's nominee for this year's Manufacturer of the Year award in conjunction with MAW is Claxton Poultry Products, in the large-sized manufacturer category.
OTC's three-county service delivery area, consisting of Bulloch, Evans and Screven Counties, has brought home state-wide winners twice since the awards were created 16 years ago. In 2002 Briggs & Stratton won in the large manufacturer category, and Viracon brought home the award in the medium-sized category in 2005.
"We are always excited to nominate our area industries for these awards, and we think Claxton Poultry is a great representative of our area this year," said Lori Durden, OTC's vice president for Economic Development.
On a much broader note, nearly 10,000 manufacturing facilities are located in Georgia, providing jobs for approximately 450,000 Georgians, and manufacturing accounts for almost 10 percent of the employment in our state.
We are very lucky to have a vibrant manufacturing sector here, and awards and recognition certainly remind us of that.
So, until next Tuesday, I bid you au revoir.
Got a scoop for Jan? Call her at (912) 489-9463 or email her at email@example.com