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Economic development key issue for ASU

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By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany State University wants to help improve Albany's economy by attracting more jobs and private investment to the city.

Amber Bennett is a senior at ASU. She's also president of Students in Free Enterprise. It's one of her goals to help small business start up.

"We use the tools we learn in the classroom and help them and then both parties are getting the experience," said Bennett.

Bennett looks to economic development representative Jonathan Corso for advice. He also discussed economic initiatives with ASU faculty to help bring more jobs to southwest Georgia which will ultimately enhance the tax base.

"It's a special interest to use especially when company creates jobs and private investment and to the extent that the college creates jobs we can certainly try to participate," said Corso.

Bennett has participated with one Albany business at a summer camp. BYE- Black Youth Entrepreneurship helps students learn small business skills.

"When they get older, they'll already be introduced to entrepreneurship in hopes of starting their own business so I worked as a counselor and a presenter," Bennett added.

The university is also working on broadband initiatives to attract businesses and more social and learning technology to keep students informed with job opportunities and internships.

"The idea is to educate the community on what we do and for me to learn what they're looking and as a result of this visit, perhaps I will come back and development a project," Corso noted.

ASU hopes to work with other economic development arms in the city, that way Bennett may see some initiatives start before she graduates.

A more than $2 million grant offers ASU the opportunity to place 25 more students into internships around Albany. University officials hope that will help boost the economy and create more jobs.

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