2017-12-06 / Front Page

County leaders graduate from Economic Development program


Shown during the Board of Georgia Academy Economic Development’s training program, from left, are Araina Reaves, Georgia Electric Membership Cooperation, Jeff Brantley and Elaine Williams of Jenkins County, and Jason Coley, Georgia Power. 
(Photo contributed) Shown during the Board of Georgia Academy Economic Development’s training program, from left, are Araina Reaves, Georgia Electric Membership Cooperation, Jeff Brantley and Elaine Williams of Jenkins County, and Jason Coley, Georgia Power. (Photo contributed) The Board of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development recently announced graduates from the 2017 Region 7 Multi-Day Training Program. Jeff Brantley and Elaine Williams of Jenkins County were among those graduating.

Class participants represented a number of professional and non-professional economic development fields, including elected officials, public servants, business leaders, educators, and social service providers from 12 counties in the Central Savannah River Area of Georgia. The Academy provided each of the graduates an opportunity to gain a unique understanding of the complexities of economic and community development on the local, regional, and state levels.

Georgia EMC’s Vice President, Community and Economic Development (CED), Pat B. Merritt, CED said, “Our Community Development team is proud to partner with and provide facilitation and presentation services on behalf of Georgia’s electric membership cooperatives. Involved since its inception, the team’s work with the Academy graduates has enhanced levels of leadership capacity and community development preparedness for continued economic development progress throughout the Region.”

“Georgia Power has historically played a major role in the State’s economic development. The Academy has formalized the opportunity to bring together stakeholders to share best practices, leverage expertise, and build relationships among our communities with the same goal in mind: ensuring economic growth and prosperity for our state. We are proud of the strong partnership that delivers this program in each of our regions every year,” said Georgia Power Company Community Development Manager Johnna Robinson, chair of the Georgia Academy board.

“One of the goals for the multi-day regional Academies is to encourage multi-county cooperation,” said Corinne Thornton, Director of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development. “Many times the participants discover the issues facing their community are the same as those facing other communities in their region, and can then combine limited resources to address the issue.”

The Academy’s multi-day program, taught one day a month over a four-month period, includes training in the basics of economic and community development, plus specialized segments on business recruitment and retention, tourism product development, downtown development, planning, and other essentials for community success. In addition, the curriculum features specific leadership skills such as consensus building, ethics in public service, collaborative leadership and other segments needed for effective community leadership in economic development. Local elected officials may receive certification training credits through the Association County Commissioners of Georgia and the Georgia Municipal Association for completion of this program.

The next Region 7 Georgia Academy for Economic Development will begin in August, 2018. For more information on this, please contact Tina Hutcheson at 478-278-9434 or by email at tina.hutcheson@dca.ga.gov

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