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2012 Summit reports community's ups and downs
by Chamber News on April 16th, 2012

The Chamber reports more than 4,100 "smart jobs" created in Valdosta-Lowndes County during the five years of IMPACT 2012. Created by the Chamber in 2007, IMPACT 2012 results were part of a report presented at the Chamber's recent Economic Summit, sponsored by Express Employment Professionals. 

Additional data shows that not only have these efforts slowed down the decades long decline of the regional average wage, it has literally turned it around by creating an environment which provides growth in Information, Professional and Technical Services, Management of Companies and Enterprises, and Health Care and Social Assistance sectors in Valdosta-Lowndes County.

"Valdosta is punching above its weight," stated Chris Miller, CEO of Illuminomics, "compared to the U.S., compared to Georgia, and compared to the vast majority of its peer communities." Miller said, "Don't stop now."

Dr. Cynthia Tori presented the VSU Center for Business and Economic Research study, Lowndes County by the Numbers: How Do We Compare With Peer and Aspirant Communities? In comparison to last year, the Lowndes community is still ranked 11th out of 15 peer communities.

Lowndes moved up in poverty, average weekly wage and share of knowledge-based jobs rankings, while moving down in old age dependency, median household income, knowledge sector average weekly wage, and unemployment rankings.

Walter Hobgood facilitated a group discussion; asking attendees to address assets they felt were missing from the Lowndes community. Improved access to Pre-K, more quality jobs, high school programs that enhance trade skills, public transportation and community collaboration were some of the topics brought forth.

A full report of Lowndes County by the Numbers: How Do We Compare With Peer and Aspirant Communities? and additional information from the Economic Summit can be found by clicking here.

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