Honeywell expected to announce major Atlanta area expansion

Industrial giant Honeywell plans to open an operations center in the Atlanta area, people familiar with the matter told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The move would continue a string of corporate expansions bringing technology jobs to the region.

Gov. Nathan Deal’s office has scheduled a news conference Monday at the state Capitol to announce an unnamed economic development project, where the people said Honeywell and state officials will unveil the project.

The state Department of Economic Development declined to comment, as did a Honeywell representative.

The expected Honeywell announcement comes amid a flurry of recent jobs deals for the state. This week, Chinese tire maker Sentury Tire confirmed plans for a new manufacturing and research center in west Georgia that could bring more than 1,000 jobs over several years.

The Honeywell project, said to involve a technology or software development center, is expected to create several hundred high-paying jobs. It was not immediately known if Honeywell has picked a location, but a second media advisory issued by Mayor Kasim Reed’s office for the Monday press conference would indicate some or all of the project will be inside the city limits.

It would follow a similar announcement this summer by General Electric, which plans a digital hub in the city of Atlanta that will employ at least 250.

Morris Plains, N.J.-based Honeywell is a Fortune 500 maker of thermostats, fire systems, smart building software, aerospace systems, wireless communications and products for the energy exploration sector.

Honeywell is perhaps best known for hardware. But like GE, Honeywell has invested aggressively in software development and what’s known as the Internet of Things (IoT), or networked communication of machines and sensors through the cloud.

The Atlanta area's rebound from the recession has been marked by a surge in technology jobs. Others notable firms, including Sage Software, athenahealth, Equifax, Global Payments and Worldpay, have announced significant new technology operations in the metro area amid the recovery.

NCR, the maker of ATMs, retail checkout systems and travel kiosks, is another company investing in IoT. NCR announced plans last year to move its headquarters from Gwinnett County to Midtown to tap into the talent emerging out of Georgia Tech.

NCR also is exploring plans to expand its future headquarters even as the first phase is under construction. NCR, which has not confirmed its internal discussions about a second phase, said in recent weeks its headquarters also will be home to a new innovation lab.