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Nordson Corporation Named Georgia Manufacturer of the Year

April 4, 2013 - Georgia Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle presented Swainsboro’s Nordson Corporation with the Georgia Manufacturer of the Year award in the medium company category (151 - 500 employees).

Nordson Corporation won the award for its “commitment to manufacturing efficiency, community service and economic growth in Georgia,” according to the remarks read when the award was announced. They were nominated by Southeastern Technical College.

“It’s truly an honor to be around and associated with such a wonderful group of manufacturers,” said Jim DeVries, Nordson’s vice president of global continuous improvement, accepting the award for his company along with Chris Brooks, director of engineering and operations; Scott Rosenau, manager of compliance; and A.J. Rufo, plant manager.

The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDED) started the appreciation week program in 1995 to honor Georgia manufacturers in the large (more than 500 employees), medium (150-500 employees) and small (less than 150 employees) categories.

Dr. Cathy Mitchell, president of Southeastern Technical College, attended the luncheon and had high praise for Nordson and its leaders.

"Nordson is an innovative company as well as a great corporate citizen,” said Mitchell. “We are fortunate to have Nordson in our community, and they are certainly very deserving of this recognition.”

Nordson’s manufacturing facility in Swainsboro has been producing adhesive dispensing equipment since opening in 2000. The Swainsboro facility’s success led to Industry Week magazine naming it a top-ten manufacturing plant and led to the construction of a multi-million-dollar, state-of-the-art facility, doubling the size of the plant and nearly tripling the workforce from 65 employees to more than 180.

“Many of those workers were trained by Georgia’s Quick Start program,” said DeVries. “Quick Start plays a critical role for training and developing all our workers throughout Georgia.”

Lt. Gov. Cagle echoed DeVries sentiments, adding that today’s workers need skill sets different from those of 10 years ago and Georgia’s technical colleges are addressing that need.

“I’m proud of our technical colleges,” said Cagle. “They’re partnering with college and career academies, where high school students are learning skills they can take anywhere in the world. We’re going to have to make sure kids are focused on career pathways. Dropouts will no longer be a problem because kids will realize these pathways are to long-term jobs.”

Nordson Corporation was named Georgia Manufacturer of the Year at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta on April 3. On hand were (from left) TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson, GDED Deputy Commissioner Gretchen Corbin, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, and Nordson’s Jim DeVries, A.J. Rufo, Chris Brooks, and Scott Rosenau.