After just two years, the Chamber of Commerce has hit the halfway mark of its five-year goal of generating $90 million in new payroll and $400 million in new capital expenditure investments in Carroll County.
Chamber CEO and President Daniel Jackson said the county had a strong year in 2017 with five major projects rolling over in 2018.
“Our five-year goal was to generate $90 million in new payroll,” Jackson said. “We’re already at $50 million and that’s already 56 percent of the five-year goal. Another goal was to create $400 million in new capital expenditure investments in our community and I’m happy to report we are at $269 million or 67 percent of that five-year goal.”
Another goal, he said, was to host 150 business and education programs. Two years into the five-year goal, the chamber has hosted approximately 192, which is 128 percent of that goal.
“Things are progressing well and we do have good success,” Jackson said. “We’re really pleased with the chamber and how the chamber is doing.”
Jackson said the chamber this year will be putting more resources into the #ThinkCarrollFirst campaign, led by a new marketing committee chaired by Kelly Meigs of Tanner Health System and co-chaired by Ben Chambers of West Georgia Technical College, who helped create the initiative.
Locally and statewide, Jackson said broadband internet remains a challenge, especially in rural areas. Carroll EMC’s board and senior staff provided seed money for the chamber to get consultants to do a study to bring broadband to the region.
Jackson said the Junior Chamber of Commerce and Bridge Builders group help identify young talent in the community, and helps recognize and train leadership.
Jackson teased at an official opening for the Tinker’s Box, hinting that it could be open as early as the first quarter of the year.
Jackson said that workforce development has been the thing that he feels he’s spoken about most within the past year. He said it is the most important issue in the country and locally, a lot of people have invested and proven themselves in the workforce education space.
“A lot of our businesses are participating and allowing students to come and learn and grow those soft skills,” he said. He cited 12 for Life, Tanner, OmniCall, Carrollton Club, Sugar Foods, Carroll EMC as examples of that.