South Georgia is an incredibly important region to our state, and one that aligns with our efforts to seek out opportunities through not only business, but tourism, agritourism, the arts, international trade and beyond. This region is equipped with an outstanding, highly-skilled workforce that is trained and ready to meet the needs of dynamic and innovative companies who locate or expand there.
It is our mission at the Georgia Department of Economic Development to create quality jobs and investment throughout the entire state of Georgia. Through a culture of collaboration at the state and local level, Georgia continues to stand out not only nationwide, but in the global marketplace as well. We’ve been named top state for business by Site Selection magazine for six years in a row, and Area Development magazine has named us at the top of the list for five years in a row.
When you look at the state’s economic development efforts—not only do we recruit traditional industrial development that is essential to Georgia’s economy, but we also welcome millions of visitors who are traveling from around the world to explore our great state; support a thriving and record-breaking entertainment industry; provide Georgia companies with the resources to grow and reach new international markets; work with small businesses to find the resources they need to be successful; support a thriving arts and cultural scene and more.
South Georgia is an incredibly important region to our state, and one that aligns with our efforts to seek out opportunities through not only business, but tourism, agritourism, the arts, international trade and beyond. This region is equipped with an outstanding, highly-skilled workforce that is trained and ready to meet the needs of dynamic and innovative companies who locate or expand there. It’s been an incredible year for economic development in Georgia. In April 2018, Taurus USA announced they were creating 300 jobs in Bainbridge. This announcement by a leading manufacturer was significant for this community and region. Georgia has a long history in the manufacturing industry sector, and we are excited to add Taurus to the long list of manufacturers that are based here.
Since FY17, our Global Commerce team has located 193 projects in South Georgia, resulting in more than 8,300 jobs created and $1.44 billion investment. It is important to note here that in FY18 alone; 80 percent of economic development projects were located outside of Metro Atlanta. These numbers amplify what we already know; communities all across Georgia are actively seeking economic development opportunities and providing the resources necessary in order to create jobs for their citizens.
Being able to provide a company and its employees a good quality of life and access to diverse cultural opportunities is essential to maintaining Georgia’s status as a leader in the global marketplace. South Georgia communities have definitely put an emphasis on tourism and the arts. In fact, our Georgia Council for the Arts division has awarded 46 grants totaling $265,802 in 31 counties in this region. Arts entities such as the Altama Museum of Art & History in Vidalia, the Colquitt Miller Arts Council in Colquitt and the Fitzgerald-Ben Hill Arts Council in Fitzgerald—just to name a few.
One incredible asset we have at GDEcD is our newly formed Rural Georgia Initiatives division. Led by Deputy Commissioner Amy Carter, the Rural Georgia Initiatives division helps communities become more competitive for economic development projects and identify new strategies for attracting jobs and investment. This division works diligently to advance these strategies, thereby improving the quality of life for those residing in Georgia’s rural communities.
Economic development is a team sport, and the Rural Georgia Initiatives division partners with many other statewide agencies to bring solutions to rural communities. Since the start of this division in July, our Rural team has visited 30 counties in South Georgia including: Sumter, Clinch, Brantley, Wayne, Appling, Jeff Davis, Telfair and Tattnall among others. During these meetings, they help connect communities with resources that help spur economic development, and help improve the quality of life in our communities.
It takes time, patience and having great partners at your side. I believe that we are stronger together, and as we look to the future, I know that South Georgia will continue to grow and prosper in the global marketplace.