The Greater Columbus Region's location provides access to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, major aerospace manufacturing facilities, missile defense operations, and Florida's three space launch facilities. Engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney maintains an engine repair facility, an engine testing facility, and a forging operation in Columbus.
Pratt & Whitney is expanding its Columbus presence and also expanding its relationship with Colum bus Technical College. The school will offer short programs focused on aerospace mechanics and advanced manufacturing technologies to better support the company's growth.
Aerospace products are the number one export from Georgia at $8.44 billion and the state ranks 2nd for aircraft engines and parts exports in the U.S.
If Georgia is at the center of the thriving Southeastern Automotive Corridor, then the Columbus Region is the bullseye. Located within the region, Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) employs more than 3,000 workers in the region, not to mention those employed by several Tier 1 and Tier 2 automotive suppliers that have located nearby to supply KMMG.
The Columbus Region has approximately 4,500 people working in customer call centers. Companies such as Aflac, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and TSYS operate call centers that employ more than 2,100 agents. Consumer management company Convergys, based in Cincinnati, OH, employs about 450 customer service representatives, talent acquisitions experts, human resources professionals, and operations managers at its new site in Columbus.
Georgia is the fifth largest market for call center-related talent. Moderate wages, a prominent headquarters base, and a strong work ethic contribute to the state's success in this industry. Occupations in the industry include computer network support specialists, computer user support specialists, telemarketers, bill and account collectors, customer service representatives, reservation and ticket agents, and travel clerks.
The Columbus Region couldn't be a better location for defense contractors. The Region is home to Fort Benning and the Maneuver Center of Excellence, which has approximately 40,000 military personnel, contractors and civilians already working at the installation. Fort Benning is the intellectual center for the Infantry, Armor and Cavalry Maneuver forces as well as one of the Army's premier training facilities.
Additionally, Fort Benning is the largest employer in the Region with an estimated annual economic impact of nearly $5 billion dollars. This strong military presence gives defense contractors the impetus they need to compete for government contracts and maintain the competitive advantage of a highly-skilled and trained workforce.
Film & Media
Columbus/Muscogee County was one of the first cities that the Georgia Film Commission certified as 'Camera Ready' - a plus for production companies looking at destinations to make a movie. In fact, there have been several major movie scenes shot in Columbus over the years including "Need for Speed," "We Were Soldiers," and "The Fighting Temptations."
Recently, the Columbus Region has been garnering attention for film production. In 2016, a company called Fun Academy Motion Pictures began laying the groundwork to become a major player in the animated motion-picture industry, with plans to launch an animation studio locally over the next couple of years. Already, Fun Academy and its founder, executive producer Richard Lanni, are working on the company's first animated film to be released in 2018, called "Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero," with expectations that it will be the first of many such movies in the coming years.
The region is also home to a number of conferences, events and festivals that are helping fuel our growth in the creative economy. One such event is Creative South, a 4-day conference held each April, which brings together hundreds of the most talented graphic designers, hand letterers, developers, photographers and digital artists from across the globe. The Way Down Film Festival, which started in 2016 showcasing short films and celebrating the most innovative voices in narrative, animation, documentary, and experimental categories, is another major driver of imagination and inspiration for burgeoning film producers from around the world.
The Columbus Region is a hotbed of financial services in Georgia, whether in the realms of banking, insurance, or credit card processing. The region is home to such major industry players as Aflac and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia (insurance), TSYS (credit card processing), Synovus (banking), and smaller industry innovators such as Delta Data (investment servicing software). Because of its cluster of financial processing operations, Columbus has been called the "back-office to the world:'
Most people are unaware that about 70% of all U.S. financial transactions are processed through Georgia based systems, including those of the Columbus Region. In Georgia, the financial services/financial technology industry processes more than 100 billion transactions per year representing more than $2 trillion in purchase volume, and employs more than 30,000 in the state and over 130,000 globally.
Georgia is home to a highly-skilled workforce and a sophisticated technology infrastructure, including the largest fiber optic intersection in the nation. Along with a culture of collaboration that exists between business and government, it is clear why several media outlets rank Georgia as the #1 state to do business.
With 70% of all U.S. financial transactions processed through Georgia-based systems, the importance of information security cannot be overstated. Georgia leads the nation in the Information Security industry, with research, talent and a number of data centers. Georgia is now home to more than 115 information security companies, which generate more than 25% of the worldwide security revenue market.
The privacy and security of health data is also of great importance, particularly in the Columbus Region, home to both Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and Aflac insurance companies. The Columbus Region's Fortune 500 companies have substantial information security divisions to protect customer data.
Shared Services defines an operational philosophy that involves centralizing administrative functions such as finance, purchasing, inventory, payroll, hiring, and information technology. Many companies operate shared services within their specific organizations; some even offer their services to outside firms on the open market.
Data Centers, Customer Contact Centers, Knowledge Centers, Customer Service Centers, Shared Service Operations all flourish in the Columbus Region. Columbus-based credit card processor TSYS, for example, has been successful in providing seamless, secure and innovative solutions across the payments spectrum using the shared services model.