A company that has been in Macon nearly 40 years was honored Tuesday at a luncheon attended by more than 100 people.
YKK USA Inc. was named Industry of the Year at the 2013 Business & Industry Awards event held at the Wilson Convention Center. YKK USA -- a zipper subsidiary of YKK Corp. of America -- has operated off Ocmulgee East Boulevard since 1974. Another subsidiary, YKK AP America in Dublin, has manufactured architectural products since 1992.
Other finalists for the industry award were Graphic Packaging, Lintech International and Timco.
Also, Macon-based Infinity Network Solutions, founded in 2000, was named Business of the Year. The company provides information technology solutions to small and mid-size businesses and public sector agencies.
Other finalists for the business award were Birch Communications and Secure Health Plans of Georgia.
The annual event, sponsored by the Macon Economic Development Commission and the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce, is held to honor outstanding businesses and industries in Middle Georgia for their contributions to the community. Qualifying businesses are evaluated on their economic impact to Middle Georgia, as well as their corporate citizenship and volunteer activities.
If we have the jobs and we keep adding jobs in Macon and Bibb County, then we are going to keep having good investment in our nonprofits, in our schools, said keynote speaker Chris Clark, president and CEO of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Were going to be able to improve our roads. Your kids are going to find an opportunity to come back home, and, hopefully, your grandkids will grow up nearby. ... Thats the bottom line for us.
Clark encouraged attendees to get involved in high school curriculums. Its going to come down to industries and manufacturers to go to these meetings (about school curriculums) and tell them what you need, he said. We cant continue to graduate kids who are not ready to compete. Kids need to be better prepared when they leave high school.
He also encouraged local business owners and leaders to work with each other.
Another thing you can do here in Macon to make this community more competitive, to help your businesses more competitive, too ... do business with each other. I know thats a radical thought, isnt it? ... Every single day I get stories about how thats not happening.
The state chamber is working with the General Assembly on several things that will help businesses, Clark said. These efforts include making it easier for businesses to get permits needed, improving right-to-work laws, helping taxpayers and businesses get tax cuts and putting more money into technical companies.
To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.