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Old 12-31-2006, 09:20 PM
hwd hwd started this thread
 
19 posts, read 161,117 times
Reputation: 30

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(The following is a recent great article in GeorgiaTrend Magazine)
(edited for space)

Southwest Georgia: A Brighter Outlook
New industry, new jobs, new housing
Ed Lightsey
Don Sims has always been an enthusiastic sort, a quality to be expected of the president of the Thomasville-Thomas County Chamber of Commerce.
But lately Sims has been downright breathless in his assessments of the future of his county and that of the Southwest Georgia region. "This will be a record year in the number of locations of industries in Thomasville," he says, jabbing a finger into the table before him.

For years, Southwest Georgia economic developers have noted a growing number of Florida retirees being chased out of the Sunshine State by hurricanes that leave in their wake rising homeowner insurance premiums. Now business owners, too, are facing the climbing costs of operation. "I had one fellow tell me that on a 30,000-square-foot metal building he has in Florida he pays $70,000 a year in property taxes," Sims says. "And wage earners are being priced out of the real estate market in Florida because of high taxes and the high cost of insurance."
To alert Florida businesses and industries that Southwest Georgia has the welcome mat out, Sims is working with others on a regional recruitment campaign. "Various joint economic development authorities and the Southwest Georgia Chamber of Commerce Council, representing 25 counties in the region, will spearhead an effort to recruit business and industries from Florida." The effort, Sims says, will hit full stride the first of the year.

Emerging Metro Areas
Beyond the Florida factor, Southwest Georgia, led by its two metro areas, Albany and Valdosta, is emerging from a decades long torpor.
"Southwest Georgia is growing," says John Lawrence, assistant director of workforce information and analysis for the Georgia Department of Labor. "Southwest Georgia is shedding its longtime reputation for recording third world-like numbers. Albany added 200 jobs in retail trade, a sign of a growing economy and a stable population base; people are going to work and spending money."

On the whole, the Albany Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) added 1,400 jobs over the year. "That is annual growth rate of 2.2 percent, which outpaces the state average of 2 percent; and the Valdosta MSA added 1,100 jobs, with a jobs growth rate that is right in line with the state average," Lawrence says.

Expansion In Moultrie
The fall announcement of a $4.5 million expansion of the first company in Georgia to receive OneGeorgia Authority funding underscored the wisdom of the state's original investment.
This capital outlay by Moultrie's National Beef plant will add 110 jobs and bring the total employment to 575. National Beef opened with 120 employees in 2001 and has expanded five times since the ribbon cutting. "Expansion is the greatest compliment an industry can pay to the workforce and the community," says Darrell Moore, president of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Chamber of Commerce. "And we are fortunate to be surrounded by a population of 500,000 within a 30 minute drive."
Another Colquitt County employer, Sanderson Farms, hit its full production level as summer was ending; and that meant 1,500 workers were drawing checks.

Three years ago when Sanderson announced Moultrie as the choice for its chicken processing plant, there were concerns about availability of employee housing, especially for middle level managers and up. But, thanks to one of Southwest Georgia's largest and fastest residential home building booms, those concerns have evaporated. "There are 35 new subdivisions either under construction or proposed in Colquitt County, and that is from August '05 to August '06," Moore says of the growing housing market. "Some of them are just 20 or 25 houses and some are large subdivisions."
The effect of continued growth in jobs and population is rippling through Moultrie. "We saw a 14 percent increase in sales tax collection last year," Moore says. "And to date this year, we have a 14.9 percent increase over that. Increased retail sales, a building boom and business expansion, and no sign of letup."

See whole article at: http://georgiatrend.com/our-state/200612-swga.shtml
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Old 12-31-2006, 09:43 PM
 
947 posts, read 2,872,278 times
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Nice article on Southwest Georgia.

Thomasville is a very nice town, I wouldn't mind living there but I don't know if I am ready to move away from everything in Atlanta.
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Old 01-11-2007, 09:40 AM
 
29 posts, read 245,913 times
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Default Southwest Ga-- NOT the place to be

Don't listen to anyone who says southwest georgia is the place to be... for a place that is so utterly country, the people are SO RUDE... everywhere you go you'll get an attitude with a southern drawl... and I love the south, too, but those people have their own venacular or something... you can't understand anything anyone says, and the white people are so stuck-up needlessly... the property value is LOW LOW LOW so the people who own houses valued at $300,000 think they are rich beyond rich and will prove this to you in their demeanor... Particularly in Albany... maybe some of the surrounding areas are a little better...but Albany is one of the most trashed-out cities I've ever seen.. In the summer the temps are like 110 with 100% humidity... you will collapse from heat walking from your car to the mall or whatever you can find there... the people are so weird and backwards... please don't raise your kids there unless you want them to be narrow-minded and uncultured... if you are black, you may like the city, seeing that is mostly who is there.. don't get me wrong, that makes it better, b/c the white people are country and stuck-up and RUDE!!!! I can't express how stupid and rude people seem to be down there... and yes I was born there and lived there for about 20 years, so I know... oh and I'm white too...
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Old 01-11-2007, 02:02 PM
GP2
 
81 posts, read 969,523 times
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Hmmm....nevermind......LOL
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Old 01-12-2007, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Georgia
3 posts, read 13,298 times
Reputation: 12
It is so sad that someone can down their own city like that. Albany is NOT that bad. It may not be the greatest place in the world but, GOODNESS!!! I attended Albany State University, which is a historically black university located in Albany. I grew up in Atlanta, GA. I consider myself to be cultured, openminded and quite intelligent, even though I recieved my higher education in this small "HICK" town.
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Old 01-13-2007, 01:38 PM
 
Location: a primitive state
10,224 posts, read 21,015,243 times
Reputation: 13470
Yeah, ENW I agree with you. Albany has a long way to go, but from what I can tell, they're really trying. The city, along with some positive minded citizens, have done some amazing things downtown near the river. They're re-doing some of the old storefronts and putting in shops and restaurants, there is a great river front park, and the Riverquarium, which would be a great asset to any community. What Albany needs is more good civic minded folks to take on its challenges, not more people who are anxious to run it down.
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Old 01-15-2007, 11:40 AM
 
29 posts, read 245,913 times
Reputation: 32
The last comment I posted was erased apparently, although I'm not sure why because it didn't berate anyone... in fact, I withdrew my overbearing statement that ALL people from Albany were stupid and rude to MOST people from Albany are... if you are not one of them, then there's nothing to take personal... and also it's not SAD that I feel that way toward my hometown, it's sad that I had to grow up there... and also I was saying that people who grow up in Albany lack culture usually...I did... However, If a person is from Atlanta, for example, then he or she may not have as much knowledge about a city as someone who was born and raised there...

Last edited by mattattack25; 01-15-2007 at 12:20 PM..
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Old 01-15-2007, 12:32 PM
 
3 posts, read 17,872 times
Reputation: 11
i grew up in albany too and i agree that it is an awful place to be and the people are rude. i dont know why anyone would take up for a place like that. i dont agree with enw - it IS that bad. u grew up in atlanta so you might not have been around it as much down here. and the stuff they are doing downtown is a pathetic shot at improvement if you ask me.
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Old 01-25-2007, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Georgia
3 posts, read 13,298 times
Reputation: 12
Well I may not have "grown up" in Albany, but I did do a great bit of GROWNING UP while I was there. While I was not raised there, one of my dearest friends as well as my ex boyfriend (who I am still very close with) are from there. While it may not have been a pleasant experience for you, others may walk away with something greater..........I know I did.
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Old 01-25-2007, 07:25 PM
 
Location: In the City of Williamsburg, Va
291 posts, read 1,272,565 times
Reputation: 93
OH my god, ALBANY is hell, Lived there for four years or so, and MATTA is right on, I couldn't agree more with the poster. Never move to Albany, they are very very stuck up white minority, esp in the doublegate area, where I used to live...and if your from the North, your be avoided like the plague!
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