Update: Details on the collaboration that brought the giant EV manufacturer Rivian to Standton Springs North

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

The following is the press release from the Governor’s Office announcing the collaboration and recruitment that resulted in Rivian choosing Georgia and specifically the Joint Development Authority’s Standton Springs North as the location.

Atlanta, GA – At an event with company leaders, Governor Brian P. Kemp today announced that Rivian Inc. (Rivian) will invest $5 billion in a carbon-conscious campus in Georgia for its electric adventure vehicles. Across operations, Rivian will create approximately 7,500 jobs on just under 2,000 acres located at the site known as the East Atlanta Megasite, represented by the Joint Development Authority of Jasper, Morgan, Newton, and Walton counties. Once manufacturing operations are fully ramped up, the Georgia facility will be capable of producing up to 400,000 vehicles per year. 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,” said Governor Kemp. “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. 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. 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!”

Construction on the facility, located at Stanton Springs North, is expected to begin in summer 2022, and the start of production is slated for 2024. Rivian’s technology centers at the new campus will support the company’s research and development programs. 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, wilder future. 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 is the latest success in Georgia’s push to recruit the entire electric mobility ecosystem to the state. In August, Governor Kemp announced 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. In addition to bringing new investments to the state, Georgia is committed to ensuring the state’s existing industry and accompanying 55,000 automotive manufacturing jobs receive the support for retraining and expansions needed to transition to meet the new demands of electrified transportation.

“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,” said Rivian Chief People Officer Helen Russell. “Our work together is rooted in collaboration, transparency, fairness, and a strong sense of belonging. 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.”

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. 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!”.

“On behalf of the Joint Development Authority of Stanton Springs, we are overjoyed with Rivian’s decision to call Stanton Springs home, and we welcome them to the country’s premier joint economic development partnership,” said Joint Development Authority of Stanton Springs Chairman Jerry Silvio. “Rivian will now join two revolutionary leaders in their respective fields to make east Atlanta a beacon of technology and employment potential. The Joint Development Authority of Stanton Springs began over 25 years ago with the goal of creating high-tech, regional-focused jobs for generations to come. We are thankful for the dedication and steadfast focus from our economic development directors, Shane Short and Serra P. Hall, and our attorney, Andrea Gray, to ensure 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.”

Rivian’s strategic location on the I-20 corridor will enable the company to access resources and speed its products to market. Offering 1,200 miles of highway and 5,000 miles of rail, Georgia is equipped to move product quickly and efficiently. Further, with investments such as the newly opened Mason Mega Rail Terminal at the Port of Savannah, which is the largest on-terminal rail facility in North America, Rivian will be able to efficiently tap into supply chain needs.

“We are excited to welcome Rivian to the Peach State’s manufacturing community,” said Griff Lynch, Executive Director for the Georgia Ports Authority. “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.”

“Georgia’s exceptional 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,” said Russell McMurry, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation. “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.”

Rivian’s just under 2,000-acre parcel will include abundant natural space. 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 georgia@rivian.com.

“The Newton County Water & Sewerage 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,” said Mike Hopkins, Executive Director of the Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority. “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.”

Additionally, Georgia’s strong and diverse talent pool is bolstered by one of the largest state university systems in the country. Eighty-five accredited public and private universities in the state award more than 132,000 degrees and certificates to its graduates annually. A key driver in Georgia’s seamless system of higher education, the Technical College System of Georgia, consists of 22 colleges offering education and training in numerous industries that keep Georgia competitive in the global economy.

“Metro Atlanta is ideally suited for Rivian’s new operations and will allow the company to benefit from our region’s diverse and highly skilled workforce. Access to our unique community of innovative businesses and collaborative higher education institutions will also be a great asset for this significant new facility,” said Metro Atlanta Chamber President and CEO Katie Kirkpatrick. “Congratulations to the team at Rivian and all of the organizations that supported this decision that will bolster the continued growth and prosperity of our region.”

To further assist the company with its workforce requirements, 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. In addition, the Georgia Department of Labor will assist the company in identifying and recruiting workers.

Director of the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) Aerospace, Defense, and Advanced Manufacturing team Hank Evans represented GDEcD’s Global Commerce division on this competitive project in partnership with numerous partners across the state. Partners include the Joint Development Authority (JDA) of Jasper, Morgan, Newton, and Walton Counties; the Georgia Ports Authority; the Georgia Department of Transportation; Georgia Quick Start; the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce; and Georgia Power.

“Rivian’s decision to locate in Georgia will have a tremendous impact on the entire state,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “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.”

Georgia is at the center of the rapidly expanding Southeast Automotive Alley, and Rivian’s investment accelerates the evolution of Georgia’s automotive ecosystem. Within the last five years, 78 automotive-related companies have located or expanded operations in Georgia, creating thousands of new jobs. While existing companies in Georgia have expanded their portfolios to include parts for EVs, companies from Korea, Germany, Turkey, and the Netherlands have also recently announced plans to build EV-related facilities in the state.

Georgia’s prime location, extensive infrastructure, skilled workforce, and business-friendly climate has made it an attractive location for a diverse array of rapidly developing industries focused on creating a sustainable future. Through fostering healthy industry practices and encouraging collaboration and innovation, the state is leading in the development and use of emerging technologies for the evolving automotive and mobility industries.

About Rivian
Rivian exists to create products and services that help our planet transition to carbon neutral energy and transportation. Rivian designs, develops, and manufactures category-defining electric vehicles and accessories and sells them directly to customers in the consumer and commercial markets. Rivian complements its vehicles with a full suite of proprietary, value-added services that address the entire lifecycle of the vehicle and deepen its customer relationships. Learn more about company, products, and careers at rivian.com.

Initial Story

Gov. Brian Kemp made official Thursday probably the worst kept secret of the past couple of weeks – that the state has finalized a deal with Rivian, an electric vehicle startup – and that the location is on almost 2,000 acres along I-20 encompassing Morgan and Walton Counties under development by the Joint Development Authority.

The JDA is the joint venture between Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton counties that has brought Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Facebook to the area. This is the third large venture to locate in the Standton Springs development area. Newton and Walton counties each own 37.5 % of the venture with Jasper and Morgan owning the balance.

Shane Short, executive director of the Development Authority of Walton County, said that officials have been working on the deal for the past year. He said many factors contributed to the eventual success of California-based Rivian deciding to bring the operation to the area.

“These include logstics, proximity to a workforce, availability of land and utility infrastructure,” Short said. It is a $5 Billion investment that will be located off I.20. The property also has access to CSX Rail and the area has been specifically developed to handle large scale manufacturing operations. Within a 45-minute drive, there is a working population of about two million.

Short said bringing these jobs to the area is one of the key benefits to Walton County and the whole JDA area.

“This company will create generational high-paying career opportunities for people,” Short said. It is expected to be up and operational by 2024.

Kemp said it is expected to bring about 7,500 jobs to the area and put Georgia in the forefront of the electric vehicle industry. He said it is the largest project ever to come to the state. Once up and operational, it will be capable of producing about 400,000 electric vehicles a year.

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