County gains an ad­van­tage in busi­ness re­cruit­ment

Walker County Messenger - - Sports -

Larry Brooks, Walker County De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, re­cently be­came the first pro­fes­sional to be cer­ti­fied in eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment by the Uni­ver­sity of Ge­or­gia’s Carl Vin­son In­sti­tute of Gov­ern­ment.

Brooks re­ceived recog­ni­tion for 60 hours of rig­or­ous train­ing in eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment fi­nanc­ing, tax in­cen­tives, work­force de­vel­op­ment and other com­po­nents nec­es­sary to re­cruit busi­ness. The train­ing is al­ready prov­ing valu­able, as sev­eral large scale em­ploy­ers have ex­pressed in­ter­est in lo­cat­ing in Walker County.

“En­cour­ag­ing new in­vest­ment into our com­mu­nity is never an easy task, as there is so much com­pe­ti­tion, both lo­cally and state-wide,” said Brooks. “How­ever with the re­sources gained through this cer­ti­fi­ca­tion process, we as a com­mu­nity dif­fer­ing agen­cies across the state, which can make the dif­fer­ence when en­cour­ag­ing a com­pany to in­vest in Walker County.”

Over the past nine years, Brooks had a hand in re­cruit­ing Nissin Brake, Au­dia In­ter­na­tional, Labrie En­vi­ro­quip, Unique Fabri­ca­tion and nearly a dozen other com­pa­nies to Walker County. Those busi­nesses in­vested over $122 mil­lion in the com­mu­nity and cre­ated or saved 860 jobs.

Brooks be­lieves the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment train­ing he re­ceived will also help Walker County grow a more di­ver­si­fied econ­omy. Ac­cord­ing to the Ge­or­gia De­part­ment of La­bor, the Walker area has a la­bor force of 196,150 work­ers. Over 27% of all lo­cal jobs are in man­u­fac­tur­ing.

Jen­nifer Nel­son, pro­gram co­or­di­na­tor for UGA’s Carl Vin­son In­sti­tute of Gov­ern­ment and Larry Brooks, exec.di­rec­tor of Walker County De­vel­op­ment Of­fice.

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