Posted: Thursday, May 24th 2012 at 2:45pm
Hall County lauded for economic development approach
By Marc Eggers Staff
GAINESVILLE – Chris Cummiskey, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, had an enormous compliment for the one-hundred-plus members and guests at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Board of Director’s luncheon meeting held at the Georgia Power Pavilion on the shore of Lake Lanier Thursday afternoon.
"If we had 159 counties like Hall County, we wouldn’t have a Department of Economic Development," Cummiskey said. "You get it. You get what it takes between business and economic development and the civic community…you sell yourselves well."
Cummiskey gave much credit to Governor Nathan Deal, citing Deal’s determination to make Georgia the most pro-business state in America.
"We know what we do well," Cummiskey said as he listed what he considers the state’s top three strengths for attracting business: logistics, work force development, and culture.
Georgia not only has the world’s busiest airport, Cummiskey explained, but will soon have two of the top U.S. seaports in Savannah and Brunswick once the channels are deepened.
Cummiskey pointed at Lanier Tech as an example of how the state is emphasizing tech school training as an integral part of developing the residential work force.
"Third," Cummiskey said, "is something you can’t really quantify; it’s a culture…a hospitality…a way of life."
"But," Cummiskey added, "we also know where we need work."
"Three things we need to do better…(business tax) incentives…more work force development, getting kids into our technical college system…and we need to pass TSPLOST."
"There shouldn’t be a stigma about going to a technical college…(we need) to educate parents, guidance counselors, and students about the career pathways our technical colleges offer us," Cummiskey urged.
"The last thing I want to talk about…we have to pass TSPLOST. It is absolutely essential to pass TSPLOST."
"When we address these three things… it’s going to be hard for us to not be ranked number one."
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