Today’s most precious business resource is the skilled labor that dreams, develops, and creates economic vitality across the state. Rural Georgia is losing its workforce and population to the more populous areas of the state which pushes the rural parts of the state deeper into crisis. Working with our education and business partners we must address solutions to developing talent and leaders who have a passion for a rural renaissance.
Hospitals in rural Georgia are severely challenged to keep their doors open. Without viable healthcare facilities and medical practitioners, portions of the state will suffer greatly. Healthcare professionals and other leaders are working the chamber to develop creative options to stave off this serious predicament.
High-quality jobs are within every community’s grasp but there may be different approaches to securing them. Recruiting new capital investment and jobs is one strategy that many communities use however other approaches are worth exploring. Chamber leaders are working with entrepreneurial-minded members to promote organic business development strategies such as makerspaces and incubators as a means to job creation in rural Georgia.
In many rural areas, declining local property tax revenues and an outdated funding formula lead to shortfalls. Recruiting educators and providing transportation are constant concerns. Lack of broadband at home and even in many schools is compounding the impact of these challenges. There are no silver bullets in education policy, but committed teachers and administrators are ready to find creative solutions to ensure that every student in Georgia receives a quality education.
More than 50% of Georgia’s counties are considered distressed according to the Economic Innovation Group, and 16% of Georgians live below the poverty line. Chamber and business leaders must engage with community social service providers to develop solutions to address those neediest members of the state.