Connecting Georgia’s Communities to Spur Economic Development: RuralWorks

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

The newest division of the Department, Rural Georgia Initiatives, has one primary focus in mind: to help rural Georgia communities become more competitive for economic development projects and identify new strategies for attracting jobs and investment.

Led by newly appointed deputy commissioner Amy Carter, one of the first ways this division addresses this mission is through the creation of a new event that would bring many of the state’s resources directly to the communities. RuralWorks: Rural Georgia Economic Development Roundtables were created to connect Georgia’s communities to the resources that enable economic growth.

The first RuralWorks events took place in Northwest Georgia with back-to-back meetings in Ringgold and Rome with participants from:

  • The Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation – hosted at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

  • Dalton State College

  • Georgia Department of Agriculture

  • Georgia Department of Community Affairs

  • Georgia Department of Labor

  • Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Division

  • Georgia Department of Revenue

  • Georgia Department of Transportation

  • Georgia Environmental Finance Authority

  • Georgia Highlands College

  • The Georgia Secretary of State’s office

  • Technical College System of Georgia

  • University System of Georgia

  • University of Georgia Public Service and Outreach

  • United States Department of Agriculture

  • United States Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration

  • And the Centers of Innovation, Film, Music and Digital Entertainment, Georgia Council for the Arts, Global Commerce – Existing Industries and Regional Recruitment team, International Trade, Tourism, and Workforce divisions of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Each session was designed to not only give attendees the information that each of these resources provides but to also connect them locally. Many of the agencies listed above have either offices or regional representation in nearby communities.

“The Rural Georgia Initiatives Division of the GDEcD sees a great need for traveling throughout rural Georgia and hearing the challenges each community faces,” said Amy Carter, Deputy Commissioner, Rural Georgia Initiatives. “RuralWorks is our division’s approach to take the state and federal resources ‘straight to our rural communities’ by hosting meetings with members of each agency and engaged community leaders for meaningful dialogue to address its greatest needs for economic development growth.”

From the Georgia Department of Economic Development