GIW Industries Inc, the leader in the design, manufacture and application of heavy-duty, centrifugal slurry pumps, is honoured to be named the 2014 Company of the Year in Manufacturing by the Development Authority of Columbia County, Georgia.

The award, which recognises the efforts and contributions of local businesses in the community, was presented to GIW for its support of county growth through the company’s large-scale foundry expansion project.

As a division of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, the Development Authority promotes and works towards future business development, new business development, and the expansion of existing businesses. The organisation connects businesses with project resources to ensure projects go smoothly, benefit the community, and provide opportunities for the local workforce.

GIW reached out to the Development Authority as it worked on a project to widen about 1,500ft of Wrightsboro Road, east of Grovetown.

GIW vice-president of operations Thomas Mueller P.E. said: "Due to the expansion, traffic will really increase to our facility and we need wider roads.

"It is a safety concern."

The Columbia County Development Authority was able to connect GIW with grant opportunities through the state of Georgia to assist with the road-construction funding.

The connection brought attention to the level of care GIW has exercised in managing community impact and employee safety during its expansion. That, in addition to GIW’s leadership in the community, environmental stewardship, and ability to provide stable employment in the community led to its selection as the 2014 Company of the Year in Manufacturing.

GIW director of human resources Gary Holley said: "This is a recognition of those companies that are proving their support by investing in the community in significant ways.

"Our local community provides an environment that draws high-quality employees to the area, and we then provide high-quality employment for those workers. We both win."

As the company closes in on its 125th year anniversary, GIW continues its long legacy of excellence while furthering its total corporate responsibility.

"Maybe 20 or 25 years ago, customers chose their suppliers based on only quality," Mueller added.

"Now, [customers] want to have a quality product but also want to make sure the company works safely and responsibly in every area."

This focus on being a contributing member of the community is what has made GIW a successful and growing business throughout the years.

"It’s something we do to keep our customers happy, to keep our employees happy, and to give back to the community," Mueller said.