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Job growth coming to river region, bringing boost to local economy

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 5:45 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - On Thursday, Georgia announced it reached the lowest unemployment rate in state history at 3.1 percent.

Here at home, the Generac company coming to the river region is bringing over $550 million and 1,200 jobs with it. And that’s just one of the new businesses coming to the area.

We spoke with the Economic Development Partnership about the boost this is giving our local economy.

There’s always room for improvement in the workforce. Especially in our growing river region – more companies, jobs, people and money. But there will always be some holes in the local economy – problems with people retiring early, lack of skills, worker shortage all caused by different disadvantages.

“That’s probably women in our area, child care is a very critical part of a family if both parents are working or if someone’s a single parent. It can be a challenge for someone who doesn’t have reliable transportation to get to the job,” said Will Williams, president and CEO of the Economic Development Partnership.

Williams says economic development is a lot like gardening – you have to plant, wait to harvest, then get the soil ready to do it again next year. All of it takes time and is a big investment.

“I would say we’ve probably seen a $50 to $60 million influx into the Aiken and Edgefield area in the last 11 months,” he said.

The South Carolina Economic Development Partnership has announced more than $500 million in capital investment and 1,200 new jobs this year. But it’s not something we see right away.

“Things aren’t as immediate, the actual impact I mean the big splash happens you read about it in the paper oh that’s awesome but a year or two later is where you actually start to seeing the impact but construction jobs building some of these facilities you see the positive impacts they bring into the economy,” he said.

It will take a year or two before the rest of us see the impact.

It’s not just job growth here. According to Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, the state has gained back 90 percent of the jobs lost during the pandemic.

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