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Albany Tech Presents Mars Chocolate North America, Albany Plant, with a Manufacturer of the Year Award Wednesday


July 18, 2012- ALBANY, GA- Albany Technical College will present Mars Chocolate North America, Albany Plant, with a Manufacturer of the Year award on Wednesday, July 18, 2012, at 3pm in the cafeteria of the Mars Plant off Oakridge.

Earlier this year, Albany Tech nominated Mars Albany for the state Manufacturer of the Year in the medium- sized company category. Mars Albany was recognized by the State of Georgia during Manufacturers Appreciation Week and a luncheon in Atlanta with Governor Deal during that week. Although Mars Albany was not the state winner this year, Albany Tech still recognizes them as our local winner.

"Albany Technical College is pleased to provide this honor to Mars, Albany Plant, and looks forward to our continued partnership in years to come. With this honor, we hope to demonstrate the level of support we should all share in this community for this vital partner," said Dr. Anthony Parker, President of Albany Technical College.

As a vital educational partner in Southwest Georgia, Mars provides opportunities for Albany Tech graduates to land careers as industrial maintenance technicians at the plant. In 2006, an initiative known as Lean Manufacturing was implemented between Albany Tech and Mars. The initiative involved the continuous evolution of operating principles and manufacturing processes to save time and money and to advance product quality. Associates in this program continue to be taught skills and a shared way of thinking, which systematically drives out waste. In addition, a Manufacturing Excellence Training Program in coordination with Albany Tech evolved in 2007. Courses range from decision-making and root cause analysis, to mechanical troubleshooting and computer skills. Continuing education for Mars associates continues to thrive between the Albany Plant and Albany Tech.

"Albany Technical College was pleased to nominate Mars Chocolate North America for the statewide Manufacturer of the Year award and to recognize them as our Manufacturer of the Year here in our service delivery area. We appreciate and value the partnership that we have with Mars and look forward to a continued relationship as we assist the company in meeting their workforce needs," said Matt Trice, Vice President of Economic Development at Albany Technical College.

The Albany site for Mars Chocolate North America continues to contribute to the Georgia economic base through providing a secure future for the associates at their site. During 2007-2008, the company reinvested in their Combos® line and made the plant infrastructure improvements of $6 million. In 2009, they upgraded their Nut Plant Systems and Combos® processes and reinvested in their Marathon® Bar line for a total of $7 million. In 2010, they expanded their Combos® snacks line to create a new Buffalo Blue Cheese. The pretzel flavor won a national product of the year award. In 2011, they hired 59 associates from the surrounding communities totaling over $2.9 million. These activities were all completed while the Albany associates continue to work efficiently while driving down costs.

"It is indeed an honor and a privilege for Mars Chocolate North America Albany Plant to be selected as a nominee for 2012 Manufacturer of the Year. As a long-time community member and winner of the award in 2007, our Mars associates are once again very proud to be recognized for this esteemed award in the state of Georgia," said Kelvin Graham, Supply Chain Director at Mars Chocolate North America Albany, Ga.

See news coverage > WALBWFXL | ALBANY HERALD


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