Barnes unveils jobs initiative in Moultrie - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Barnes unveils jobs initiative in Moultrie

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MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) -

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -- With Georgia's unemployment rate still at ten percent, gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes says jobs and education are his top priorities.

Agriculture remains Georgia's top industry. Tuesday in Moultrie, Barnes talked about his plan to strengthen rural economic development and value-added agriculture.

Barnes told the audience polls show 68 percent of Georgians think the state's heading in the wrong direction. He thinks the right direction is moving capital to create jobs for all of Georgia.

Four years ago Scotty Jarvis bought Crystal's Pharmacy in Moultrie. He had to let some employees go as business slowed, and he faces many of the same hardships other small businesses face.

"As a small business owner, every time I turn around I'm having to pay so many taxes out, that I can't grow I can't expand right now," said Jarvis.

He also worries about insurance companies pushing customers to use mail in services taking business away from local pharmacists, and people not able to afford their prescriptions.

"If you get more people working in the area and get more jobs then they have an opportunity to get different insurance or different insurance wanting them," said Jarvis.

That goes against one initiative gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes is proposing to keep Georgia businesses doing business in Georgia. Barnes also wants to enact a holiday on capital gains taxes for two years if a businesses buys stock in a Georgia community bank.

"Our Georgia banks need new capital fresh capital, Two you invest in an existing Georgia company. Three you create a new Georgia company," said Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Roy Barnes.

Or buys Georgia land. He believes that could spark business. Barnes told the Moultrie crowd enticing business to south Georgia depends on the skills and training of the workforce. Companies are looking for workers with high tech, computer skills.

"If we don't have the skills I can't attract the industry anywhere," said Barnes.

Barnes would also like to see Agri-business grow to include more bio-mass facilities. Jarvis was encouraged by what he heard but says he'll be watching what other political candidates have to say about health care and jobs before he casts a ballot in November.

Barnes also said he'd like to see the state again require students in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade to attend 180 days of classes. He's actually like to see the length of the school year extended.

Barnes said he'll unveil a new series of commercials Thursday that will focus on job creation and a more positive campaign. Barnes and Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Nathan Deal will face off in a debate hosted by WALB on October 19th


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