The Regional Commission supports member governments and local economic development agencies by providing demographic information requested by prospects; meeting with prospects; mapping available properties and buildings; structuring deals; assisting with the industrial site certification process; serving as a liaison between federal, state, and local economic development resources; and assisting with site selection and development.
In addition, the Regional Commission maintains and updates the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), which outlines the short and long-term goals and objectives for economic growth throughout the region.
The Regional Commission engages with the region’s largest employer and Georgia’s largest industrial complex, Robins Air Force Base, primarily through the 21st Century Partnership. It maintains and updates the economic impact multiplier for Robins AFB annually and also serves as the fiscal conduit for local contributions to the 21st Century Partnership. In addition, staff works closely with the Middle Georgia Military Affairs Committee, which is composed of members from each local chamber of commerce.
Throughout the past year, the Regional Commission works with economic development partners throughout the region on planning for economic diversification activities with the assistance of a grant from the Department of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment. Recognizing the importance of Robins AFB to the local economy, and the region’s reliance on defense contracting, these grant funds were provided to assist the region with growing its industrial base in other economic sectors, and facilitating employment opportunities for those who are out of work due to defense spending reductions. Components of this ongoing project include job profiles of in-demand positions throughout the region, a study of Middle Georgia’s potential as a freight and logistics hub, the formation of a regional leadership program, and the development of regional asset maps, identifying the region’s industrial, infrastructure, and human capital strengths.
Another important component to economic growth is access to capital for the private sector. This is accomplished through the EDA Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) operated by the Regional Commission.