ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp today announced that Rivian Inc. will invest $5 billion in a facility near Social Circle that will create about 7,500 jobs by 2024 for production of the company's electric vehicles.
Rivian officials announced the company will operate a production facility on just under 2,000 acres at a site at U.S. Hwy. 278 and I-20 known as the East Atlanta Megasite, also known as Stanton Springs North, represented by the Joint Development Authority of Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton counties.
Construction of the facility is expected to begin in summer 2022 and the start of production is slated for 2024, a news release stated. Once manufacturing operations are fully ramped up, the Georgia facility will be capable of producing up to 400,000 vehicles per year, officials said.
During a ceremony across from the State Capitol, Kemp said Rivian’s manufacturing plant represents the single-largest economic development project in state history.
"We are so proud that Georgia will now be home to Rivian's largest manufacturing facility," Kemp said.
"This single investment — the largest in state history — represents the future of automotive manufacturing and establishes the leading role the Peach State will play in this booming industry for generations to come."
Serra Hall, an economic development director for the Joint Development Authority, helped recruit the company to Stanton Springs North. She told The Covington News she was "ecstatic" about the announcement.
Hall, who is executive director of the Newton County Industrial Development Authority, said Rivian first contacted her early this year.
She said she believed a number of factors made the site attractive to the vehicle maker, including the fact it was a large site that was still undeveloped relatively close to Atlanta, and had an abundance of available resources.
Joint Development Authority of Stanton Springs Chairman Jerry Silvio said the Authority was "overjoyed with Rivian’s decision to call Stanton Springs home, and we welcome them to the country’s premier joint economic development partnership."
“Rivian will now join two revolutionary leaders in their respective fields to make east Atlanta a beacon of technology and employment potential," Silvio said, in reference to Facebook's Data Center and Takeda Pharmaceuticals.
He said the Joint Development Authority began operations more than 25 years ago "with the goal of creating high-tech, regional-focused jobs for generations to come."
Silvio praised the Authority's economic development directors, Hall and Shane Short of Walton County, and Authority attorney Andrea Gray for their "dedication and steadfast focus" that ensures "this vision is met and exceeded."
"Through the years, the four counties and our utility partners have planned strategically to ensure minimal impact on the local environment. With Rivian’s announcement today, the continued collaboration between the state of Georgia, the JDA, and now Rivian will be unprecedented,” Silvio said.
Newton County Chairman Marcello Banes, a Joint Development Authority member, said in a prepared statement it was "a great, great day for Newton County."
"For years I have been speaking about the big things to come here in Newton County. Rivian’s game-changing commitment to Newton County and Stanton Springs North is exactly the type of investment, industry and excitement I have been speaking of," Banes said. "Our community will forever more feel the effects of this terrific news.
"First and foremost, I am excited for the people of Newton County. Rivian will be bringing an estimated 7,500 jobs to our community. These will be high-quality, high-paying jobs further enriching our community," Banes said.
"Along with these jobs will be growth for not only Newton County but surrounding counties who have partnered with us in the JDA. These partnerships show that working together and being #OneNewton brings positive results for all," he said.
"When the Joint Development Authority was set up it was with the foresight to one day make such a transformative and historic announcement that was named today. Newton County's future is bright and that future starts now."
Mike Hopkins, executive director of the Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority, said in a news release the Authority is "grateful to partner with Rivian and once again the Joint Development Authority of Stanton Springs for a landmark opportunity."
"We view this venture as a once-in-a-lifetime moment where our most important resource, water, must be managed in a way that it becomes the standard that all future projects aspire to achieve,” Hopkins said.
“The state of Georgia is a beacon of preservation and a steward for water protection. Our water system is uniquely designed to support our citizens, businesses, and natural environment in the Southeast — Rivian’s focus on environmental excellence fits perfectly within our vision here,” he said.
Rivian’s technology centers at the new campus will support the company’s research and development programs, a news release stated.
"The company is actively working to ensure that both the construction process and future facility meet Rivian’s high standards of conservation and sustainability for a cleaner future," the release stated.
Georgia Quick Start will build and operate a state-of-the-art manufacturing training center that will provide Rivian with a fully customized training program that meets the company’s start-up needs.
This will also build capacity and curricula within the Technical College System of Georgia to maintain a long-term pipeline of highly skilled employees who are trained specifically in these operations, the release stated.
The Georgia Department of Labor also will assist the company in identifying and recruiting workers, it stated.
Kemp said, "In addition to Georgia's long-term focus on logistics, talent, workforce, and responsive government that significantly contributed to today's pivotal announcement, my administration's more recent emphasis on innovation and development in the electric mobility ecosystem has equipped our state with a new tool in the tool box to deliver big wins for hardworking Georgians."
"In the top state for business, we value our partners in the private sector and the jobs and investment they provide countless communities.
"Our Georgia Quick Start workforce training resources, world-class higher education institutions, and statewide logistics infrastructure assets are prepared to meet Rivian's production and research and development needs," Kemp said.
"As one of the world's most dynamic, innovative companies, Rivian's exciting announcement today begins a new chapter for Georgia, and we are honored to welcome them to the Peach State."
The entire project will support the expansion of the U.S. electric vehicle industry and will serve to decarbonize the transportation and energy sectors.
Rivian Chief People Officer Helen Russell said, “We’re happy to partner with Georgia on our next manufacturing site, which will allow us to meet demand for Rivian products and to scale our business rapidly."
"Our work together is rooted in collaboration, transparency, fairness, and a strong sense of belonging," Russell said. "We’re excited for Georgians to bring their creativity and ideas to Rivian. We’re confident that, alongside Illinois, Georgia is the place for Rivian to scale and thrive.”
Open job postings in Georgia will be immediately available at www.rivian.com/careers. Inquiries about project RFIs, RFPs listing, and supply chain outreach can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Its location on the I-20 corridor straddling the Walton-Morgan counties' line near Newton County's northeast corner will enable the company to access resources and speed its products to market.
The state has 1,200 miles of highway and 5,000 miles of rail lines, making Georgia "equipped to move product quickly and efficiently."
Georgia's newly opened Mason Mega Rail Terminal at the Port of Savannah is the largest on-terminal rail facility in North America, which will allow Rivian "to efficiently tap into supply chain needs," the release stated.
Griff Lynch, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority, said, “We are excited to welcome Rivian to the Peach State’s manufacturing community."
“As we expand our facilities for processing containers and finished vehicles, we look forward to the opportunity of providing supply chain solutions to Rivian, a world-class manufacturer of electric vehicles,” Lynch said.
Russell McMurry, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation, said the state's multimodal transportation network "is foundational for the future of transportation and has led to our state being recognized as a national leader in EV corridor readiness, which is critical for further EV development.”
“We look forward to providing the transportation infrastructure necessary to make this project successful for a company that will transform transportation as we know it, and are excited to know that Georgia will be home to such a vital partner,” McMurray said.
Kemp announced in August the launch of the Electric Mobility and Innovation Alliance, a statewide initiative between government, industries, electric utilities, nonprofits, and other relevant stakeholders focused on growing the electric mobility ecosystem in the state and strengthening Georgia’s position in electrification-related manufacturing and innovation, the release stated.
Rivian has developed and vertically integrated a connected electric platform that can be flexibly applied to a range of applications, including the company’s "adventure" products as well as B2B products such as its last-mile delivery vans, launched in partnership with Amazon.
"Rivian’s launch products, the R1T and R1S, provide an unmatched combination of performance, off-road capability, and utility," the release stated.
Earlier this week, the Rivian R1T all-electric truck earned the coveted 2022 truck of the year from MotorTrend, calling it “the most remarkable pickup truck we’ve ever driven!”.
Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson said, “Rivian’s decision to locate in Georgia will have a tremendous impact on the entire state."
"As I have said, we will see more change in the automotive industry in the next 10 years than we have seen in the past 100, and with this announcement, Georgia will be home to one of the main drivers of this transformation.
"For Rivian, sustainability doesn’t stop with just making EVs, it is carried throughout their work, going so far as to carefully plan construction efforts at the site to preserve and protect the beauty and uniqueness of their new home. This is to be applauded and makes us proud to become part of their story.
"Rivian will be an outstanding corporate citizen and community partner, and we look forward to a strong future together as the jobs and investment they create will change lives and accelerate Georgia’s sustainable and electrified future,” Wilson said.