On behalf of the eleven counties and twenty-one cities of Middle Georgia, the Middle Georgia Regional Commission has received a grant from the United States Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment. The grant award amount is $650,117 which will be matched with $116,946 of local funds, for a total investment of $767,123 between September 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015.

In June, the 21st Century Partnership informed community leaders of the funding opportunity which led to the development of an application for projects designed to support the growth and diversification of Middle Georgia’s economy. The projects were developed through collaboration and partnerships with the local governments of Middle Georgia, 21st Century Partnership, University of Georgia J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, Central Georgia Technical College, and the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Projects funded by the Office of Economic Adjustment grant include the creation of an innovative regional leadership program and the development of several regional asset maps.

• The regional leadership program, called the Middle Georgia Regional Leadership Champions, will bring together stakeholders from the private, public, and non-profit sectors. These leaders will be tasked with strategic visioning for the Middle Georgia Region and will encourage cooperation in future projects to support Robins Air Force Base and the surrounding community. Applications are being accepted for the Regional Leadership Champions program until November 7, 2014.

• The asset mapping components will include an analysis of the human capital, infrastructure, and industrial base for the region. End products of these asset maps will include profiles of high-demand jobs in the region, an in-depth study of Middle Georgia logistics and freight capabilities, and a survey of regional employers.