Ga. official: State industries hold strong despite economic questions nationwide

WALB’s Jim Wallace sat down with the head of Georgia’s Chamber of Commerce to learn more about the state of jobs statewide.
Published: May. 9, 2023 at 5:12 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - As nationwide banks fail and technology jobs are experiencing layoffs and uncertainty, jobs and industries in Georgia seem to be holding strong. WALB’s Jim Wallace sat down with the head of Georgia’s Chamber of Commerce to learn more about the state of jobs statewide.

It’s an exciting time in Georgia. It seems like industry is growing across the state right now and that’s got to be good for our economy.

“It’s great, Jim, and it’s going to help make us recession-proof as the rest of the country looks at an economic downturn here in the next few months,” Chris Clark, Georgia Chamber of Commerce CEO, said. “But George has been on A roll for the last four years. Over 1,700 companies have announced they’re moving or expanding in Georgia, those companies are investing $65 billion. So they need to employ about 165,000 for Georgians and it’s really remarkable. We’ve not seen anything like this in my history; and quite frankly, we’re beating out every other state around the country. And the great news is that of all those projects, 77% are coming to rural Georgia and Southwest Georgia. Where I’m from where you are now has seen incredible growth just in the last two years. You’ve had almost $2 billion worth of investment, 2,000 new jobs in manufacturing, logistics, AGS, energy, tourism. And so this economic prosperity literally is, is in every corner of the state of Georgia. And we have to give Governor Kemp and our local economic developers our friends like locate South Georgia a lot of credit. Are working together to have the right environment to attract these companies and help, maybe more importantly, Georgia, small businesses and Georgia-based companies grow at the same.”

We can see it with the population growth that’s going on in Georgia right now as well, but one of the challenges is making an infrastructure that can handle all this new industry as well, isn’t it?

“It is,” Clark said. “And it’s not just the new industry, right? It’s the growth of our ports. It’s the natural growth of our population. We’re going to have 40% more capacity at Georgia’s two coastal ports and our inland ports over the next few years, the Georgia General Assembly and the Georgia Department of Transportation have been working with us at the Georgia Chamber and other partners for the last five years to build out a strategy. And move those goods safely around the state. You know, nobody wants three-mile-long trains. Nobody wants to sit in traffic for two or three. It’s just natural growth. And so we’re going to have to make some significant investments over the coming. 10 to 15 years just to keep pace with what’s already announced. What’s here in Georgia and our natural growth and how businesses quite frankly changed. You’re seeing a realignment of global supply chains right now with more companies moving back from Asia and particularly from China. Quite frankly, Jim, it’s a matter of national security too. We’ve got to build out a supply chain and freedom. This network that makes us safe and secure for the long term.”

Those are some issues Georgia faces, but I guess it is a good issue that we face now.