Atlanta, GA – Governor Brian P. Kemp's rural economic development strategy is yielding major results for hardworking Georgians in communities all across the Peach State.

In a recent ranking conducted by economic development and corporate real estate magazine, Site Selection, seven rural counties (Appling, Bacon, Dodge, Elbert, Franklin, Hart, and Union) in Georgia earned a spot in the top 50 performing non-metro communities across the nation with two Georgia counties placing in the top five.

Site Selection accredits this success in part due to Georgia's business-friendly environment, and more specifically to the spirit of collaboration between local communities and the state and the Rural Strike Team that Governor Kemp launched in 2019 and is led by Deputy Commissioner of Rural Georgia, Brian Marlowe.

“It gives us somebody on the ground,” said Governor Kemp. “We have somebody out there grinding away to help train the locals on workforce development, on how to get a project, how to convince people to come to their county, develop sites and infrastructure. What are the resources you need? How do we help?”

On the importance of local and state partnerships to ready communities and win big projects, Governor Kemp continued, “What we’ve found is you that you’ve got to have willing partners at the local level... We want to make sure that those local communities are stepping up and putting skin in the game.”

One of the communities that was recognized in the top to is Alma, Georgia, which has landed five qualifying projects, including La Regina di San Marzano’s new tomato sauce plant and Inflex’s new plastics plant. These two plants are projected to create approximately 350 jobs and invest nearly $30 million into the area.

Another part of this success is regional partnerships between rural communities. Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Pat Wilson, affirmed, “We love it when we can have regional cooperation and one point of contact for multiple communities. When a company comes in, it knows that those jobs don’t stop at the county line. Those jobs are going to come from all across the region. That is a selling point in itself.”

As a small business owner of more than 35 years and resident of a rural Georgia community, Governor Kemp made strengthening opportunity in rural Georgia a top priority since day 1 of his administration. His administration's efforts continue to pay dividends for hardworking Georgians in every corner of the state. For a comprehensive overview of the state's economic development success in rural Georgia, please click here.

Contact Director of Communications

Katie Byrd

Contact Deputy Director of Communications

Andrew Isenhour