This article first appeared on The News at

Brunswick Georgia Manufacturer

Roundtable Fosters Community in Local Industry

By Lindsey Adkison

September 25, 2016

On Wednesday, dozens of local business leaders and members of the manufacturing community spent their lunch hour at an interesting venue — Mercedes. They weren’t shopping for a new luxury vehicle, however. Instead the group was there to talk business.

It was all part of the local Manufacturers Roundtable initiative, a partnership between the Brunswick and Golden Isles Development Authority, the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce, College of Coastal Georgia and Coastal Pines Technical College. The meetings bring local industry members together under one roof to discuss strengths and challenges, helping to foster a sense of community among members of the group.

That’s precisely the point says John Scott, project manager at the Brunswick and Glynn County Development Authority.

Scott says the purpose of the program is to give Glynn County’s industry leaders the opportunity to get to know one another and develop relationships. It also helps them connect to the community at large.

“The other goal of the Manufacturers Roundtable is to give the industry leaders the opportunity to meet some of our local resource partners, such as Coastal Pines Technical College, Georgia Department of Labor, and the Chamber; just to name a few,” Scott said. “The first big success of this program is getting our local industries involved with our local education system. Several local companies regularly host students from the Golden Isles Career Academy to take tours so they can see what modern manufacturing is really like.”


King & Prince Seafood hosts local industry leaders for a facilities tour in Brunswick, Georgia.

The event at Mercedes was the fourth this year and the second to be conducted onsite. The first was held in early summer at King and Prince Seafood.

“Locations are selected by industry leaders that volunteer to host the group. We do as much of the work as possible for the companies that are hosting an event so we minimize the time requirements,” Scott said. “We want the process to be as simple as possible and not create extra work for our existing industries.”

All of the programs, Scott said, been very successful. He especially enjoys taking participants to various locations within the county. He believes the visits keep the Roundtable’s momentum strong and offer a unique spin on the program.

“There are a lot of programs like this around the Georgia but I think this one has been particularly successful because we have made sure that the event is entirely about the local industry leaders,” he said. “Prior to the Development Authority and our partners getting involved, the industry leaders would occasionally get together on their own. All we do is organize their meetings for them.”

The Manufacturers Roundtable began more than three years ago and has built in terms of participation over that time.

“The tour at Mercedes-Benz was the most well attended. I think some people were hoping they’d give away a new Mercedes as a door prize,” Scott joked.

Kidding aside, Scott has seen the benefits of the program firsthand.

He says that since getting involved the Authority members have noticed a growing sense of camaraderie among industry members fostered by the meetings.

And he expects that to continue to grow in the future.

“Our industry leaders know one another and they have a better idea about the resources that are available to them in Glynn County,” Scott said.

The next Manufacturers Roundtable will likely be in the first quarter of 2017, Scott says, although the group is still considering one more event to close out the year.

That will create one more opportunity to create a setting where local industry officials can connect, helping their businesses flourish.

“A big part of what we do at the Development Authority is work to keep the industries we have in Glynn County and to help them expand, and the Manufacturers Roundtable plays a big part in our efforts.”

This article first appeared on The News at