By: Contributing Writer, Tammy Joyner
Clorox bleach. Sherwin-Williams paint. Fresh Express salad and Toto, a world-renowned, high-end toilet maker whose fans include actress Whoopi Goldberg.
These are just some of the name-brand household items that trace their manufacturing roots to Clayton County.
“It’s a plus in our community,” Clayton Commissioner Jeff Turner said of the impressive list of household items made in the county. “They’re not only making money but they’re contributing to our community and the metro Atlanta area as well.”
With four interstates – I-75, I-85, I-285 and I-675 – weaving through Clayton, the world’s busiest airport and an abundant eco-friendly water system, it’s no wonder chemical giants, food processors and other big industries settle in the county.
A group of economic development officials recently toured some of the county’s manufacturing facilities, including Gate Gourmet, a Zurich, Switzerland-based caterer that makes and packages high-end meals for overseas flights. If you’ve flown on Delta Air Lines, you’ve likely had a Gate meal.
“They looked delicious, as beautiful as anything you find in a high-end restaurant,” said Bill Keir, deputy director for the Clayton County Office of Economic Development and Film.
Many of these manufacturers such as The Clorox Company in Forest Park are in the midst of expansions. The expansion projects total more than $130 million and are expected to yield more than 250 jobs, according to the county Office of Economic Development and Film.
The pay isn’t bad either. A product line manager at Clorox, for example, can make $30 an hour while a packaging engineer can earn more than $100,000 a year, according to Glassdoor.com, which tracks salaries nationwide.
In addition to name-brands, Clayton is home to:
- Castellini Group, the largest processor of fresh produce in the United States.
- Cummins Sales and Services, maker of diesel and regular truck engines as well as back-up power generators for homes.
- Filet of Chicken in Forest Park, a leading processor of frozen, ready-to-cook poultry. The company supplies many of North America’s popular chain restaurants, grocery stores and other food-service distributors.
“We have a workforce that’s ready to come in and take those jobs,” Turner said.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT
Did you know Clayton County has 19 exits off of four major interstates and Hartsfield Jackson International Airport?