Tifton, GA – Rural Development Partners allocated $20 million in New Markets Tax Credits to family-owned business, Coca-Cola Bottling UNITED, expediting expansion of their operation to a worthy, supportive community deserving of opportunity. With NMTCs the company was able to begin operations in 2021 rather than 2023, creating 240 permanent full-time jobs, and spurring economic growth for the region.
Coca-Cola UNITED’s new facility consists of a 300,000 SF Sales and Distribution Center, equipped with RDP’s allocation for equipment. Tifton provided a great location for the company to optimize distribution and networking to their customers in South Georgia and the Florida Panhandle.
“We are excited about our significant investment in Tifton and the impact it will have on our new community in South Georgia,” said Coca-Cola UNITED Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Hafiz Chandiwala. “This project is another example of Coca-Cola UNITED’s foundation of community investment and development and will greatly benefit our associates, the local residents, and our company for many years to come.”
RDP’s partnership with Coca-Cola UNITED was a great fit for the RDP mission and business strategy, to create quality jobs, and to spur economic and workforce development opportunities in severely distressed regions. Coca-Cola UNITED’s partnership aspires beyond bringing quality jobs to the area. Through RDP’s Community Investment Program (CIP), the two partners jointly funded workforce development initiatives identified by local community leaders, actively motivated to improve employee skillsets, career prospects, and offer access to multifaceted training opportunities. The company’s partnerships with local recruitment organizations and educational institutions have helped adults achieve high school equivalency and job placement, as well as local technical college education and internship opportunities that have improved the quality of life for many.
Coca-Cola Bottling UNITED
Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, Inc. was founded in 1902 and headquartered in Birmingham (AL). Now with its fifth generation of family working in the business, Coca-Cola UNITED has franchises in Chattanooga, Atlanta, Columbus, and Georgia. They are engaged in the production, marketing, and distribution of a diverse portfolio of leading sparkling: Coca-Cola®, Diet Coke®, Coke Zero Sugar®, Dr Pepper®, Sprite®, Fanta® and AHA®) and still smartwater®, Dasani®, POWERADE®, BODYARMOR®, Fairlife®, Gold Peak®, Monster® and Minute Maid®) non-alcoholic brands under exclusive franchise agreements principally with The Coca-Cola Company® and Keurig Dr Pepper®. For 118 years, Coca-Cola UNITED has remained true to its foundational core values of: Quality, Excellence, Integrity and Respect. Local relationships, personalized customer service, and strong community engagement have been the foundation of our business for more than a century. Each year, millions of dollars are invested in our local communities, supporting education, community development, sustainability and nonprofit organizations that empower and impact those in need.
“Rural Development Partners is privileged to partner with Coke UNITED to bring quality jobs and workforce training opportunities to the great community of Tifton, GA. We are thankful NMTC financing can greatly accelerate the availability of these jobs for Tifton residents.” – Jonathan Klaassen, RDP CEO
RDP’s Community Investment Program
Southern Regional Technical and Industrial College received a matching funds grant of $200,000 from RDP and Coca-Cola Bottling United through RDP’s Community Investment Program. Funding allowed the college to extend Technical & Industrial scholarship opportunities to low-income residents who wish to pursue good paying careers; covering tuition, books, fees, uniforms, tools, and health exams.
Equipment upgrades among other initiatives will improve education in the Mechatronics, Industrial Systems, and Commercial Truck Driving programs. Equipment upgrades such as a newer commercial truck with industry-standard safety mitigation systems like auto braking and blind-spot detection were purchased; features students will encounter when they work in the industry. “Hear what SRTC President Jim Glass said about the project.”