Lowndes celebrates economic growth - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lowndes celebrates economic growth

December 31, 2003

Valdosta - It seems everywhere you turn in Lowndes County, there's a new hotel, restaurant, and more new jobs. "We've had a very active year as far as new construction and openings for new business," said Andy Deal, Chamber of Commerce Chairman.

This year, the area has good reason to celebrate. 2003 brought 3000 new jobs and a record low unemployment rate. "When you compare the 2.9 percent unemployment rate in Lowndes County with the state's rate of 4.4, you can see we certainly are finding the jobs for our local residents," said Myrna Ballard, Chamber President.

With the entire nation in an economic downturn, just how is Lowndes County weathering the storm? Local business leaders credit major institutions like Valdosta State University. Not only is this college one of the largest employers in the county, it provides us with an educated and diverse workforce.

Another huge economic engine is the county's location. "We're very fortunate to have I-75, you'll notice a lot of service and food entities in that area," said Deal.

And now that the city's reached metropolitan status, the year 2004 should be even bigger.

posted at 2:55 by ashley.harper@walb.com

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