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2023 NADO Impact Awards

GMRC is excited to announce that it is once again the recipient of three National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Impact Awards for the following projects:

Banks County Martin Bridge Infrastructure Project - Economic Development


Project Partners: Banks County; Mar-Ja; RAI Industrial Fabricators; Georgia Department of Community Affairs; Georgia Department of Transportation; OneGeorgia Authority; Appalachian Regional Commission; Economic Development Administration; and Georgia Mountains Regional Commission.

Summary: Looking to prepare the Martin Bridge area for industrial and commercial development and foster economic growth in unincorporated areas of Banks County, Georgia Mountains Regional Commission (GMRC) worked with Banks County to secure public investment and plan for expected commercial growth along the Interstate 85 Corridor. Beginning with the ED Blueprint Plan, GMRC and Banks County laid out their comprehensive plan for the area through a planning grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission. With financial assistance from the Economic Development Administration, Georgia Department of Transportation, and the OneGeorgia Authority, GMRC and Banks County have opened up over 1,000 acres of land for development through targeted infrastructure development including: a wastewater line expansion to the targeted commercial area and installation of a roundabout and transportation upgrades to Highway 59. Developing the original comprehensive plan for the area allowed for more targeted and more efficient implementation of the infrastructure upgrades as GMRC and Banks County knew precisely what infrastructure investments were needed to attract and retain commercial development. It is expected that the improvements will create over 700 jobs for the region as new businesses come to the newly developed industrial and commercial area.

Supervisor and Industry Leadership Academy - Workforce Development


Project Partners: WorkSource Georgia Mountains; Workforce Strategies Group; Lanier Technical College. SAIL curriculum created by American Yazaki Corporation; The Harris Products Group; IMS Gear; Kiddly Marketing & Fulfillment; King’s Hawaiian; Kubota Manufacturing of America; Murray Plastics; Specialty Appliances; StruXure Outdoor; Swagelok Georgia; Tsubaki-Nakashima


Summary: Georgia Mountain Works is a regional Advanced Manufacturing Sector strategy group convened by the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission (GMRC) through the WorkSource Georgia Mountains regional workforce board. Employers in this strategy group expressed that their best employees often needed more leadership skills to move into management roles. Over the next months, GMRC staff worked with manufacturing company employees, including human resources and current company leadership, to create a leadership program curriculum, resulting in the SAIL Academy. The leadership program, to be delivered over 12 weeks, provides 48 hours of classroom training along with practical applications for completion on the job. In working with the employers, GMRC staff outlined specific topics for training including on the ground problem-solving, communication, personalities and emotional intelligence, continuous improvement, performance management, and more. Lanier Technical College, a partner of Georgia Mountains Works, added the program to their Economic Development Curriculum and hosted the first SAIL Academy cohort. Subject matter experts with a background in manufacturing were brought in as instructors to better relate to the students and topics at hand. Employers participating in the program were able to be reimbursed for the cost of the leadership training program through WorkSource Georgia Mountains Incumbent Worker Training program. The first cohort launched with nine participants in January 2023 and had a 100% graduation rate in May 2023.


2022 Economic Base Assessment - Planning Department

Summary: The Georgia Mountains Regional Commission (GMRC) created an Economic Base Assessment in 2022 as a comprehensive insight into local employment and related data at the county level, aimed at aiding resiliency and recovery efforts. The assessment emerged as a component of the broader COVID-19 recovery and resiliency initiative by GMRC. The assessment underscores the sensitivity of local economies to different industrial sectors, facilitating the creation of targeted policies for future disaster scenarios. By identifying critical economic drivers and industries prone to losses during extended shutdowns, the assessment provides valuable insights for businesses, financial institutions, and government leaders to plan and respond effectively to future events. The document's integration with other resources like Disaster Recovery Toolkits aims to enable community leaders to devise more efficient response measures, thus minimizing negative economic repercussions. Information was gathered from multiple sources, predominantly the Georgia Department of Labor and geospatial analytics firm ESRI, and compiled by GMRC into quick-reference tables for each county.

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