The Georgia House of Representatives House Rural Development Council is holding a two-day session about state economic development and economic incentives, here in Elbert County. The sessions began this afternoon with opening remarks from Representative Jay Powell, Chairman of the Council. In his comments, Representative Powell spoke of these sessions as a “way to move the needle forward” in economic development.

Dr. Andrea Daniel, President of Athens Technical College, followed Representative Powell welcoming the room to the campus, noting this year as Athens Tech’s “60th.” Also noted by Dr. Daniel was that the college is “solely focused on Workforce Development. It is our mission. It will stay our mission. Our programs are here in place to meet workforce needs… We are here to service the students and the companies, the State of Georgia and this region.”

Elbert County Chairman Tommy Lyon also welcomed the guests by also presenting the county’s focus as economic development. “On behalf of the commissioners,” Chairman Lyon thanked the group for all their work helping our county to grow.

Other Elbert County welcome/presentation participants on stage included Mayor Larry Guest, Main Street/ Elberton Downtown Development, Elbert Memorial Hospital, and the Chamber of Commerce.

Additional speakers for this afternoon’s meeting include:

  • Pat Wilson, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Economic Development
  • Tom Croteau, Deputy Commissioner, Georgia Department of Economic Development
  • Christopher Nunn, Department of Community Affairs
  • Peggy Jolly
  • Kevin Shea, Georgia Economic Development Association
  • James Dove, Executive Director Northeast Georgia Regional Commission
  • David Bridges, President ABAC

Pat Wilson commented about the Georgia workforce: “Every opportunity for economic development revolves around long-term workforce and one of the things we have not done well in rural Georgia is crafting a narrative around the workforce that is available and the skill set.”

Tomorrow’s agenda will include:

  • Amy Carter, Rural Georgia Economic Development Commissioner
  • Gary Black, Jack Spruill and Paul Thompson, Georgia Department of Agriculture
  • David Bridges, ABAC President
  • Saralyn Stafford, Carl Vinson Institute of Government, Rural Development Manager
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