Governor Helps Kick Off Economic Development Program

Teamwork was the main theme for dozens of elected officials from different rural counties. The group is taking the first step of a new regional approach to economic development and political influence.

"In a rural setting, we have to come together and look at our communities and common interests and also how we can complement each other," Rep. Randy Pierce said.

This new approach has attracted the attention of Gov. Ronnie Musgrove. The governor says it's more important than ever for communities to work together for strong economic futures.

"In today's time when dollars are short and everything is strained, if we work together and pool our resources, a company in one area will help other counties," Gov. Musgrove said.

"It's important to have the governor visit with us, because he is the state economic development leader," said Sue Wright with George County Economic Development. "He has a comprehensive plan and agenda, and we want to be a part of that plan."

Education was one of the main topics during the meeting. The governor called it an investment in people, and stressed its importance from grade school, through high school to the community college level.

"Aspects we are bringing to the table today are the community college work force assistance and education to help better prepare our rural counties for the job needs of today and for the future," Wright said.

Organizers hope to have a second meeting early next year, and begin a regular schedule for leaders to come together.