Coweta in Focus
Development authorities focused on quality jobs, community
by Greg Wright, President of Coweta County Development Authority
(Editors note: The Newnan Times-Herald today continues its new monthly column in Sunday Business section, Coweta In Focus. Coweta Development Authority President Greg Wright, President and CEO of the Newnan Coweta Chamber of Commerce Candace Boothby and Newnan Business Development Director Hasco Craver IV will be our contributing writers, along with other periodic guests — each focusing on their specific areas of expertise from a forward-looking, trend-setting and 'what's on the horizon' angle.)
In today’s global economy, it is critical that communities position themselves to compete for quality jobs.
We are very fortunate in Coweta County to have a team of seasoned professionals and volunteers committed to helping facilitate the job creation process throughout the county, our cities and our towns.
I have the pleasure of working with the Coweta County Development Authority and the Development Authority of Coweta County. While technically two different organizations, the authorities meet and operate as one to help promote quality job growth in the county.
When first created, the two bodies, like every other community, focused on how to attract new industries to the area. Over the years, the authorities have played an important role in the economic history of the county through its recruitment efforts. However, the mission of the organization has adapted with the times.
As mentioned earlier, the original goal of the authorities was to encourage new industries to locate here. While this certainly remains a vital part of our work, the volunteer leaders of the development authorities made a decision several years ago to focus more attention on serving Coweta’s existing industrial base.
Every good salesperson knows that it is easier and less expensive to keep an existing customer than it is to go out and find a new one; the same holds true in economic development. Industry experts estimate that 70 to 80 percent of new job growth in a community comes from existing companies succeeding and growing locally. That’s why we place an emphasis on an industry visitation program to learn more about the companies, their challenges and their opportunities.
By reaching out to these companies, we are in a better position to help solve problems before they threaten jobs or the company’s survival. Plus, we are in a better position to help identify opportunities and resources that can help companies expand.
Coweta County is a special place, and it is incumbent upon all of us to do our part to help grow quality jobs in our community. Whether through the location of a new company to the area or through the expansion of an existing company, Coweta County remains a strong community strategically positioned to provide all the amenities crucial to fostering industry growth and development.