Georgia Competitiveness Initiative comes to Albany - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia Competitiveness Initiative comes to Albany

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Governor Nathan Deal is looking for ways to put more Georgians back to work, and he wants your input.

Governor Deal kicked off the first of 12 regional forums Thursday at Albany Technical College as part of his Georgia Competitiveness Initiative.

He says the goal is to create jobs by making Georgia more business friendly.

"We're going to provide some answers to some of the questions we all have, which is how do we make Georgia a better place for people to come and to work," said Deal.

The initiative will assess Georgia in six critical areas: business climate, education and work force development, innovation, infrastructure, international growth and opportunity and government efficiency and effectiveness.

Governor Deal wants to hear from workers as well as community and business leaders.  That's why participants took surveys expressing their concerns.

"I think when you hear from the people on the frontline, the ones who are trying to run businesses and the ones trying to keep people employed. They're the ones who understand what impediments exists," said Deal.

Southwest Georgia has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, but Governor Deal says initiatives like this one may help bring those rates down sooner than later.

Georgia Economic Development Commissioner Chris Cummiskey says the initiative will help Georgia keep its competitive edge when it comes to jobs.

"Other states have become more competitive too and are trying to close that gap between us. Our goal is to make sure that gap expands and make sure we keep that competitive edge we've always had," said Cummiskey.

The initiative will lead to Georgia's strategic plan which Governor Deal hopes to have in place by the end of this year.

"Well the initiative has a goal of making recommendations to the assembly at the end of the year and if it requires legislative action, hopefully it will be available to be acted on in the upcoming legislative session early next year," said Deal.

Governor Deal said the feedback from this initiative is crucial because he wants to put Georgians back to work the best way he possibly can.

The next regional forum will be June 29th in Douglas.

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