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Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission president resigns

Published: Jan. 31, 2020 at 12:41 AM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission (EDC) President Justin Strickland resigned Thursday.

He held the position for 12 years.

A county commission representative on the EDC board said Strickland’s departure is a loss for the community but they are continuing to move forward with Strickland’s help.

Strickland’s resignation took some county leaders by surprise.

“We understand Justin’s commitment to this community, we understand his love for Albany and Dougherty County,” said Clinton Johnson, the Dougherty County Commission representative on the EDC.

Clinton Johnson is the District 3 County Commissioner.
Clinton Johnson is the District 3 County Commissioner.(WALB)

In his 12 years on the board, Strickland has helped bring in Georgia Pacific, launch the 4C Academy and bring in jobs from the start.

“The great recession of 2008, that was kind of a hard time for all businesses and having him at the helm during that time period was successful for a moment,” said Johnson.

The EDC’s chair, Cynthia George, said it’s about getting a plan ready to keep growing.

Cynthia George is the Chair of the EDC.
Cynthia George is the Chair of the EDC.(WALB)

“The board is really going to spend a great deal of time absorbing that and molding that to fit our community and what we need,” said George.

Commissioner Johnson said part of the plan is putting the focus on local businesses.

“Restaurants are good here, more tourism and more places to shop and try to make Albany a destination place for people to shop again,” said Johnson.

George said they will look at growth from a recruitment standpoint.

“What types of businesses can we bring in that support our current businesses that are sort of off shots of other businesses,” said George.

The same process goes for major corporations.

“We always say that we would like to have 10 to 50 employers versus one 500 employers because if you lose that one, there is a great big debt,” said Johnson.

As far as filling Strickland’s role, George said they will take time to reflect on the talents they need to bring in.

“It’ll be a great opportunity for someone to come into this community at a great time to really implement the plan that Justin and this team and our board and community have put forward,” said George.

WALB News 10 reached out to the EDC to get a comment from Strickland. We were told he is expected to be at the meeting Friday where we may be able to get a statement.

The EDC said Strickland is moving on to pursue other opportunities.

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