Editorial: South Georgia's economy is on the upswing

South Georgia's economy is on the upswing

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - For too long, the South Georgia economy has been struggling, or just treading water. Several signs tell us that is about to get MUCH better.

Georgia-Pacific will soon begin work on a new facility to process lumber for the American market, in the Albany-Dougherty Industrial Park. The new plant would cost about $150 million. The lumber production facility at the Albany-Dougherty Industrial Park will ultimately employ 340 people in Georgia.

Taurus USA, a leading firearms manufacturer, is relocating from Miami to Decatur County. They are building a huge new factory that will create 300 jobs, investing more than $22.5 million in infrastructure and operations in the Bainbridge area.

A new phase of the Rails to Trails adds 14 miles of walking path from Tift Park all the way to Sasser. Local contractors will supply the materials and labor for this 27 million dollar project.

This concept has already been successful in nearby Columbus, LaGrange, and Carrolton. We agree with Mayor Dorothy Hubbard, who believes the trail system will give Albany an economic and tourism boost.

The Albany Dougherty Inner-City Authority (ADICA) is funding several renovations through a facade project to improve storefronts downtown.  Businesses can apply for ADICA grants for up to $5,000 to renovate the storefronts.

Reames Concrete Company is expanding, bringing new jobs and opportunities to Sumter County. They're building a new facility and retention pond on for their 10-acre plant.

On the job front, the Albany Metro area saw its lowest unemployment rate in almost 18 years in May. The Department of Labor says the unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent, tying the previous all-time low set in 2002. The unemployment rate this past May was 5.5 percent a year ago.

So, it's a good time to be positive. Let's talk our region up… There's a bright future ahead…

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