Create a regional economic development organization by July 2008 under the leadership of the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce.
The focus of this initiative is to develop a regional economic development organization to proactively market the region to prospects interested in bringing new industry to the region as well as to encourage the retention and expansion of existing businesses. This initiative will reduce poverty by bringing more industry and jobs to the region, and will encourage a regional workforce development strategy.
The Regional Economic Development Committee (RED) will be renewing its effort to address the need for coordinated economic development strategies in the Northeast Georgia market area. RED under the leadership of Doc Eldridge, President of the Athens area Chamber of Commerce will consider renaming the Northeast Georgia Economic Development Collaboration (NGEDC) to better reflect the need for regional cooperation. Membership will be drawn from Athens and surrounding counties and will focus on opportunities to strengthen existing economies including the marketing of the region as well as the recruiting, retention, and expansion initiatives in addition to the possible funding of these efforts. The group will seek out the cooperation and support of the participating local governments, and hope to work in a collaborative manner with efforts that are already in place. Initially the committee will review existing economic development activities in the region to see what they have in common and how collaboration will enhance existing efforts. The new Committee is an outgrowth the OneAthens regional economic development effort and reflects implementation of the OneAthens recommendation for a regional strategy.