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New Science Standards in Georgia's Public Schools

GADOE

On March 31, the State Board of Education approved Georgia's first Standards of Excellence for science. The standards will be implemented during the 2017-18 school year.

"These standards were developed based on feedback from the public - from teachers, students, parents, business and industry leaders, higher education representatives, and other concerned citizens," State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. "We are grateful for the thousands of Georgians who took the time to review the proposed standards and share their opinions - they have helped us create appropriate standards with ample time available for teacher training."

As part of the process, Georgia's science teachers were asked to give feedback for every standard and element in his or her grade level or high school course. The science surveys drew more than 9,000 teachers, with participation from every school district.

Georgia Ranked No. 1 State for Business

Georgia

On Nov. 2, Site Selection magazine released its annual rankings of top states for business, and Georgia is No. 1 for the third consecutive year.

"Once again, Georgia has been named the top state in which to do business, reflecting our success in strengthening Georgia's economic environment and creating a top-notch workforce," said Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. "Through collaborative public-private sector efforts, we have created hundreds of thousands of jobs for families, invested millions in our local communities and improved the overall quality of life for our citizens. This ranking is not only a testament to our strong business climate, but it also speaks to the commitment and support from our industry partners, communities and the people of Georgia."

The rankings are determined by a survey of corporate site selectors paired with an index of tax burden criteria according to the Tax Foundation and KPMG's Location Matters analysis and performance in Conway Data's New Plant Database, which tracks new and expanded business facility activity.

Site Selection releases the survey results each November. Georgia has been ranked among the top 10 states in Site Selection's business climate rankings throughout the last decade, holding the top spot in 2013, 2014 and now in 2015.

Georgia Ports Container Traffic Increases Almost 28 Percent.

The Georgia Ports Authority increased containerized cargo in March by 27.8 percent, compared to the same month a year ago, for an additional 72,499 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs).

For the first time ever, the Port of Savannah moved 333,058 TEUs in a single month, surpassing its previous monthly record set in October 2014 by more than 21,000 TEUs. For the nine-month period, GPA moved 2.66 million TEUs, an increase of 352,381 compared to the same period last year.

"We are moving record volumes while maintaining excellent service levels for our customers," said GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz. "Our March numbers have once again demonstrated the scale, flexibility and efficiency of the Garden City Terminal. Freight handling remained fluid, even with demand well above forecasts."

Foltz added that the GPA is taking steps to increase capacity at Garden City Terminal, including construction of a new truck gate and the purchase of 30 rubber-tired gantry cranes, which will bring the total number to 146 RTGs.

Georgia's deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 352,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $18.5 billion in income, $66.9 billion in revenue and $2.5 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia's economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8 percent of the U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10.9 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2013.

Fifth Record Year for International Trade in Georgia.

For the fifth consecutive year, Georgia experienced a record increase in both exports and imports, with a 4.9 percent increase in exports and 11.5 percent increase in imports over last fiscal year.

"With our strong and diverse international presence, Georgia is able to successfully support companies in reaching new markets," said Gov. Nathan Deal. "Another record-breaking year in international trade indicates that businesses in our state are growing year-over-year. When combined with the ever-increasing value of Georgia's exports and imports, I am confident that we will continue the trend of more record-breaking international trade in the future."

Georgia maintained its ranking in exports as the 11th-largest exporting state in 2014. The state moved up a notch in imports, from eighth to seventh-largest in the nation, according to the Census Bureau.

Georgia led the nation in the export of chemical woodpulp, poultry, kraft paper and paperboard, chemical products including insecticides, carpets and other textile floor coverings, and Kaolin. Georgia's leading export industries ranked by dollar value were aircraft/spacecraft, nonelectric machinery, nonrailway vehicles, electrical machinery and paper/paperboard. Since the announcement of the National Export Initiative in 2010, Georgia's exports have increased 36.2 percent.

Project agreement signed for Savannah Harbor deepening.

Port of Savannah

On Oct. 8, 2014, Gov. Nathan Deal announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) have signed a Project Partnership Agreement (PPA), allowing construction on the long-awaited Savannah Harbor Expansion Project to begin.

"Georgia and its congressional delegation have fought long and hard to see this project through to fruition - a project that is vitally important for economic development and job creation not only in the Southeast, but nationally as well," said Deal. "After years of regulatory purgatory, we finally cleared the last hurdle and hope to begin dredging in the Savannah River before the end of the year. This pivotal link in our logistics network will aid in the prompt delivery of valuable cargo to and from every corner of Georgia and, in turn, preserve and create jobs and encourage economic growth."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that the harbor deepening project will bring $174 million in annual net benefits to the U.S. and for the Post-Panamax II vessels, the extra five feet of depth will allow for an additional 3,600 cargo containers in each transit, an increase of 78 percent.

"The signing of the PPA marks the starting point for construction on the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project," said Savannah District Commander Col. Thomas Tickner. "This sets us on the path to improving transportation of goods into and out of this harbor in an environmentally sensitive manner, which will benefit the area, the region and the nation."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released the competitive bidding contracts prepared for the early actions to deepen the harbor.

CNBC names Georgia the No. 1 place for business in the nation.

On June 24, 2014, CNBC, a world-leading news source for business and financial information, named Georgia as the No. 1 place for business in the nation.

"We've been crunching numbers for months, looking for a state whose business climate is solid as a rock," said Scott Cohn, senior correspondent and lead investigative reporter at CNBC. "Georgia, the Peach State, the cream of the crop, with 1,659 out of 2,500 points, it's a big jump from Georgia's eighth place finish last year. Georgia's best category, its workforce, tops in the nation for the third year in a row. Georgia ties for first in infrastructure with America's busiest airport and one of its busiest ports."

"Since taking office, I have worked every day to make Georgia the No. 1 place in the nation in which to do business," said Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. "Last year, Site Selection magazine named Georgia No. 1 for business, and today CNBC followed suit. These rankings are a testament to the commitment from Georgia businesses, communities, our economic development partners and the people of Georgia. As more people see Georgia's successes, more businesses will consider expanding or relocating here. I am confident that our state's highly skilled workforce and seamlessly connected logistics infrastructure will enable these businesses to be successful and competitive. This is good news for Georgia, and my goal going forward is to maintain our status as a leader in the global marketplace."

The CNBC rankings are based on a proprietary survey with metrics developed with the help of the National Association of Manufacturers and the Council on Competitiveness. CNBC puts the metrics into 10 broad categories that include cost of doing business, economy, infrastructure and transportation, workforce, quality of life, technology and innovation, business friendliness, education, cost of living and access to capital.

CNBC is a division of NBCUniversal and a leader in business and financial news worldwide. The station provides 16 hours of live business coverage to more than a million households in North America alone. In addition to traditional broadcasting, CNBC's digital platforms provide real-time global financial market news and data.

Georgia recently broke ground on the state's new BioScience Training Center.

The center will support training for Baxter International Inc. employees and for new life sciences companies that select Georgia. The training center is located on the east side of metro Atlanta, across from Baxter's new $1 billion biomanufacturing plant.

"This training facility represents not only our commitment to supporting Baxter's needs, but also our commitment to growing the life sciences industry in Georgia," said Governor Nathan Deal. "It's projects like these that have made, and will continue to make, Georgia the No. 1 state in the nation in which to do business."

At the groundbreaking, Deal was joined by Ga. Dept. of Economic Development Commissioner Chris Carr, Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Ron Jackson and Brien Johnson, Vice President and Program Executive of Baxter International.

"This Georgia BioScience Training Center will give us one of the most effective tools we can have in economic development to recruit more life science and health IT companies to Georgia," said Carr. "The facility is designated solely to providing customized workforce training as an incentive to attract new biotech jobs to Georgia."

Georgia Quick Start, a division within the Technical College System of Georgia, will operate the 52,000-square-foot facility. At the training center, Georgia Quick Start will provide customized workforce training for Baxter.

For the fourth consecutive year, Georgia experienced a record increase in both exports and imports in international trade.

During 2013, more than 14,500 Georgia companies exported $37.6 billion in goods and services to 230 countries and this, according to the Census Bureau, moved the state up from the 12th largest exporting state to the 11th position. Georgia imports also experienced a record level in 2013 with imports totaling nearly $75.1 billion in goods, an increase of 4 percent over the previous year - again moving the state from the 9th largest importing state to 8th.

"With such diverse geographical representation, Georgia companies can further cultivate business relationships," said Gov. Nathan Deal. "This is another record-breaking year in international trade. I am proud to be governor of a state that is clearly at the forefront of global commerce."

More than 90 percent of Georgia's total trade was with Asia, Europe and North America. Of particular note is the diversity of items involved in trade and the amount of the state impacted by trade. To read import/export highlights and access the full report, click here.

Site Selection

Georgia is #1 State for Business, according to Site Selection's annual survey.

On Nov. 4, 2013, Gov. Nathan Deal announced that Georgia has won the top spot in Site Selection magazine's annual ranking of state business climates. The ranking is based on a survey of corporate site selectors and on a set of criteria that includes the states' competitiveness rank, qualified projects so far in 2013 and on a per capita basis, and state tax burdens on new and mature firms as compiled by the Tax Foundation and KPMG Location Matters analysis.

Gov. Deal says a diversified economy, low-cost energy, enviable logistics assets and an ear for what businesses require to succeed and to expand are what separated his state from the pack in the ranking.

When Deal became Georgia's 82nd governor in Jan. 2011, one of the first things he did was launch the Competitiveness Initiative. Meetings of top business leaders were held in 12 regions around the state, resulting in a report that set economic development goals based on input gathered in the meetings. To enhance Georgia's business climate, the governor proposed several legislative changes to the state's statutory incentives, including sales and use tax exemptions on energy used in manufacturing and for construction materials for competitive projects. The Georgia General Assembly supported the governor's request and the changes were enacted.

"Making Georgia the premier state in the nation for business has been a strategic goal from day one of my administration," said Deal. "We have worked hard to stay ahead of the curve and anticipate business needs not only today, but in the future. Achieving this national recognition means we are on the right track and reminds us of the importance of continuing to strive for excellence in all we do."

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U.S. House moves one step closer toward funding the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.

On Oct. 23, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly (417 to 3) approved the Water Resources Reform and Development Act in what was seen as a "breakthrough moment" in the effort to deepen the Savannah Harbor.

"Even though the Water Resources Reform and Development Act still has to go to a conference committee, today's action by the House is another step toward getting the federal portion of the cost," Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said. "In addition to authorizing the (Savannah harbor expansion) project, the bill could allow Georgia to begin using the money it has put aside for the deepening; that is a critical victory for Georgia as we race to get ready for the much larger ships that will soon sail through an enlarged Panama Canal. I am grateful to the members of the Georgia delegation in the House and Senate for their role in developing this landmark legislation and fostering Georgia's economic growth. Georgians have waited on this day for a long time. The hurdles ahead of us are much shorter than those that are now behind us."

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Through the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 (WRRDA), Congress authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out its missions to develop, maintain, and support the nation's vital port and waterways infrastructure needs, and support effective and targeted flood protection and environmental restoration needs. Historically, Congress has passed such legislation every two years to provide clear direction to the Administration and the Corps, but no bill has been signed into law since 2007.

"To run a 21st century economy, we need a 21st century infrastructure, and strategic investments in America's aging harbors and inland waterways will spur job creation and lay the foundation for sustained economic growth," said the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and Subcommittee Ranking Member Tim Bishop (D-NY). "Passage of this bipartisan jobs legislation in the House of Representatives marks significant progress in our work to build the port and river infrastructure America needs to compete in a global economy."

Venture

Join us as Georgia's technology innovators will meet the nation's top-tier investors at the Georgia Aquarium next week in downtown Atlanta.

Venture Atlanta, where Georgia's top technology innovators meet the country's top-tier investors, will be held October 22-23 at the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta.

Dick Kramlich and John Balen, well-known venture capital veterans from Silicon Valley, will kick-off this year's conference. Kramlich and Balen will reflect on the industry's evolution and share their experiences in a joint keynote moderated by Jeffrey Leavitt, partner at DLA Piper, a global law firm and long-time conference sponsor.

As the state's largest investor showcase, Venture Atlanta connects Georgia's entrepreneurs with venture capitalists, bankers, angel investors and others who can help them raise the capital they need to grow their businesses. Companies that have presented at Georgia venture conferences have raised more than $1 billion. The annual non-profit event is a collaboration of three leading Georgia business organizations: Atlanta CEO Council, Metro Atlanta Chamber and the Technology Association of Georgia.

For more information on Venture Atlanta 2013, visit www.ventureatlanta.org.

GADOE

Georgia's high school graduation rate for 2012 rose more than two percentage points over the previous year.

Georgia's graduation rate for public high schools rose more than two percentage points - from 67.4 percent in 2011 to 69.7 percent in 2012. The rate of students getting diplomas has risen by 11 percentage points since 2009. The state uses the adjusted cohort method as required by the U.S. Department of Education.

Education

"I am very pleased that our graduation rate continues to increase, no matter how it is calculated," said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. "While our graduation rate is still far too low and we have much progress to be made, we are moving in the right direction. In order to encourage more students to stay in school, we must make high school more relevant. Through our Career Pathways initiative, I am excited that students will see a clearer connection between what they learn in the classroom and how it applies to what they want to do after graduation."

GDOT

New Legislation Facilitates Major Transportation Projects

Under the new law, Georgia can move forward on transportation priorities and prepare for the increased freight flows from the deepening of the Savannah Harbor.

On April 18, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law House Bill 202, known as the "balancing bill," and Senate Bill 70, the Design Build "best value" bill.

The house bill waives the requirement to balance funds by congressional districts for all interstate improvements, certain freight corridor projects and projects of regional significance. Georgia can prioritize transportation projects that help to create jobs, decrease traffic holdup for freight and quicken the flow of goods. This means the state can move forward on priorities such as the managed lane plan and large interstate interchange projects, and it can prepare for the increased freight flows from the deepening of the Savannah Harbor.

Loop

The senate bill allows the Georgia Dept. of Transportation (GDOT) to build upon its successful Design Build program. Design Build projects give the private sector the ability to utilize innovation in both the design and construction of a project. This means GDOT will have more flexibility to consider the long-term value of a particular project rather than merely the cheapest upfront cost. This bidding process will allow professional engineers to conduct a thorough, transparent evaluation process that will yield more innovation and deliver better results.

The measures outlined in both HB 202 and SB 70 will allow GDOT to continue saving money and delivering projects on time and on budget.

Site Selector

The Site Selectors Guild, a professional association comprised of the world's most respected site selection consultants, has honored Georgia Power with an Excellence in Economic Development award for the utility's extraordinary work and professionalism.

The annual Guild awards recognize individuals and organizations for having made a significant difference in the lives of people and the community as a whole. The Guild Awards are comprised of four categories: Small Town EDO (economic development organization), State EDO, Utility EDO and Special Jurisdiction EDO. Principles honored by the award include ingenuity and creativity, mastery of the project process, going above and beyond, political acumen, and bringing a personal, caring touch to projects.

"We're very proud that the Guild would honor us with this award. Members of the Guild are great partners in the strategic location decision process and we value our relationship with each of them," said Pedro Cherry, Georgia Power's vice president of Community and Economic Development. "The award is also a testament to the professionalism and hard work our team demonstrates day after day. More importantly, this is great recognition of our efforts to continuously add value for all of the citizens and communities in Georgia."

Sr. Project Manager Brenda Robbins accepted the award on behalf of Community & Economic Development on Feb. 26 at the Guild's annual conference in New Orleans. Georgia Power was nominated by Wadley Donovan Gutshaw Consulting LLC and by Deloitte Consulting LLC.

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L to R - Don Schjeldahl - Austin Consulting; Dennis Donovan, Wadley Donovan Gutshaw Consulting LLP; Brenda Robbins, Sr. Project Manager, Georgia Power; Matt Szuhaj, Deloitte Consulting LLC

The Site Selectors Guild is the first and only group of its kind, bringing together a dynamic network of site selectors from around the world. More information on the Guild is at www.siteselectorsguild.com.

Georgia has moved up to 12th in the nation in the percentage of high school seniors scoring a 3 or higher on Advanced Placement (AP) exams.

Jonathan Sangster

Georgia has moved up to 12th in the nation in the percentage of high school seniors scoring a 3 or higher - a passing score - on Advanced Placement (AP) exams, according to The College Board's AP Report to the Nation released February 20. The state ranked 13th in the nation last year.

This report measures progress of the Class of 2012. When results are broken out by subgroup, Georgia's African-American students rank 2nd in the nation (behind Washington D.C.) in the percentage of seniors scoring a 3 or higher on AP exams. Georgia's 10-year increase (10.1%) in the percentage of seniors scoring a 3 or higher on AP exams also shows impressive results, ranking 9th in the nation.

Georgia is also a national leader when it comes to public school students enrolling in AP courses and taking the exams. Only five other states in the country had a greater percentage of AP exam takers last year. The percentage of Georgia seniors who took an AP exam was 41.1%, compared to 32.4% for the nation.

The State of Georgia has undertaken many successful efforts to increase participation in AP programs and success on AP exams. The initiatives include the following:

  • Since 2003, the Georgia Legislature approved funds to pay for students to take at least one AP exam per year.
  • The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) has distributed AP Teacher Training Grants, with 2,264 new AP teachers being trained since 2006. An additional 200 AP teachers will be trained in 2013.
  • GaDOE has sponsored regional course-specific workshops for teachers of AP for the past six years, with more than 3,303 AP teachers participating.
  • The Georgia Virtual School (GAVS) offers 25 AP classes, increasing access to students. More than 1,350 students took an AP course with GAVS for the 2012-13 school year.

Press release.

Jonathan Sangster, nationally known site location consultant, will become Georgia Power's General Manager of Economic Development in January.

Jonathan Sangster

Jonathan Sangster, a nationally known site location consultant, is joining the Georgia Power team as General Manager of Economic Development, effective January 7. In this role, Jonathan will lead the organization's efforts in business recruitment, information services, engineering support and management of the Georgia Resource Center. He will report to Pedro Cherry, Vice President of Community & Economic Development.

Jonathan is currently Senior Managing Director with CBRE Consulting, one of the nation's top business location and site selection firms. At CBRE since 1999, he led a consulting team that helped clients find "best fit" locations for corporate headquarters relocations, customer care operations, manufacturing, distribution and research and development facilities, resulting in investments of more than $3 billion and more than 7,000 jobs created.

The transition to Georgia Power is a homecoming of sorts; Jonathan began his career in 1977 as a co-op student with the company's Power Supply Engineering group. While at Georgia Power, he held full-time positions in Power Supply Engineering, Procurement, Training and Educational Services, and Southern Company College.

With Jonathan's global network of corporate decision-makers, consultants and economic development professionals, he will be a valuable addition to the Georgia team.

Press release.

SHEP Gets Green Light: The federal government has given final approval to a $652 million project to deepen the river channel to the Port of Savannah.

On October 27, the Assistant Secretary of the Army issued a Record of Decision for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP), the final approval of the federal government to deepen the Savannah Harbor to 47 feet.

Recommended by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the plan has now been approved by all necessary federal agencies. Construction is expected to begin in 2013 with completion by the end of 2016.

A deeper port will produce substantial economic benefits for the nation by enabling larger and more heavily loaded vessels to call on the harbor with fewer tidal delays. SHEP is expected to reduce shipping costs more than $213 million annually. The project has a benefit-to-cost ratio of $5.50 for every $1 invested. Press releases and articles: Georgia Ports Authority | Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia Students See Gains on Advanced Placement Exams

Thousands more Georgia public school students took Advanced Placement (AP) exams this year compared to 2011 - and more of them passed the exam with a 3, 4 or 5 – the scores needed to earn course credit at many colleges.

Data released by College Board show the number of students scoring 3, 4 or 5 on the exams jumped by 13.5 percent to 62,871. The number of Georgia students taking AP exams increased by 8 percent to 69,495, up 38 percent in the last five years.

Georgia's minority students continue to outperform their peers throughout the nation on AP exams, with significant participation and performance increase on AP exams in May 2012 compared to May 2011. Over the last year, African-American and Hispanic AP test-takers increased 5.1 percent and 13.1 percent, respectively, compared to the national increase of 3.6 percent for African-American test-takers and 8.1 percent for Hispanic test-takers. Georgia's minority student AP performance also overshadowed the performance of their national counterparts, with a 17.5 percent increase in AP exam scores of 3 or higher for African-American Georgia test-takers, and a 19.6 percent increase for Hispanic Georgia test-takers, compared to 12.5 percent and 14.0 percent, respectively, for the nation.

"These scores show that more and more Georgia students are leaving our schools ready for college and careers," said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. "It's critical that we continue to encourage students to take Advanced Placement classes so that they not only get the rigorous academic training they need to be successful, but they can also save some money on college tuition."

According to the AP Report to the Nation that is released by the College Board in February, which looked at only the 2011 graduating seniors that took the exams, Georgia ranks 13th in the nation in the percentage of students scoring a 3-5 on AP exams. Georgia ranks 2nd in the nation in the percentage of African-American students scoring a 3, 4 or 5 on AP exams.

America's New Global Gateway To The World Opens

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport now has a new world-class terminal dedicated entirely to international flights.

The 1.2-million-square-foot, 40-gate air travel complex opened its doors in May.

"The Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal is America's new global gateway," said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. "This magnificent facility is an economic catalyst for the city of Atlanta, the state of Georgia and the entire southeastern United States, and it will help create jobs and new business opportunities for years to come."

The opening of the international terminal will meet the growing demand for international air service in Atlanta. 2011 was a record year, with Hartsfield-Jackson hosting nearly 9.9 million international passengers. The Federal Aviation Administration has forecast that international passenger traffic will increase by more than 30 percent by 2015 - to 13 million.

"The opening of the international terminal is huge for Atlanta," Miller said. "It gives international passengers their own terminal with its own entrance, it ends the baggage recheck process for Atlanta-bound passengers and it enhances the Airport's overall capacity now and for the future." Press Release

Liberty County, Georgia Among Top 10 Places in the South for Manufacturing

Southern Business & Development magazine, a publication about economic development and site selection, recently named Liberty County as one of the "Ten Southern Markets that are Manufacturing Location No-brainers."

"In choosing our 2012 Top 10 category, 'Ten Southern Markets that are Manufacturing Location No-brainers,' we looked closely at manufacturing sector location trends and product available for locating manufacturers, as well as the available labor shed in over 150 communities in the South," says Michael C. Randle, the magazine's editor and publisher. "Based on that data, we chose 10 communities in the region that we feel are the best locations - or more specifically, 'no-brainer' locations - for prospective manufacturers."

Ronald E. Tolley, chief executive officer of the Liberty County Development Authority, said, "Liberty County's strategic location, just 30 minutes south of Savannah, our unique labor force, and our availability of sites ready for immediate development position us well as we try to recruit additional manufacturing companies to the area."

"In addition, our robust existing industry manufacturing base that is already home to foreign-based companies like SNF (France); Interstate Paper (Lebanon); and Firth Rixson Forgings, LLC and International Greetings (United Kingdom), as well as companies headquartered domestically, validates Liberty County is truly a place where manufacturing companies can grow globally." View articles: Savannah Morning News | Atlanta Business Chronicle

Property Search Goes Mobile

Georgia Power's new site and building search is fast, easy and great for iPads, iPhones, Androids and all smart devices.

a. From the SelectGeorgia home page, simply click on the Property Search button to find available industrial buildings, office space, business and industrial parks and land in Georgia. Find information on all 159 counties and more than 540 communities in the state. Demographics, including population and workforce, are included for all properties, as well as proximity to highways and interstates, ports, airports and rail. Utility providers, taxes, incentives and other business information is also available on the new search tool.

Try the new search here and then let us know what you think. We welcome your questions, comments and suggestions.

Go Build Georgia

GA Gov. Nathan Deal announces new initiative to address the availability of skilled labor in Georgia. View article.

Southern Company Named "Power Company Of The Year"

At Platts Global Energy Awards ceremony held December 1 in New York, Southern Company was honored as the leading power company in the world for 2011. View article.

Georgia Ranks Among Top States For Business

Area Development's annual survey of location consultants shows Georgia is among the best in the nation. View article.

Georgia's Race to the Top (RT3) Grants Promote Innovation in STEM

On August 8, Gov. Nathan Deal announced five winners of Innovation Fund grants, a $19.4 million competitive grant program created through Georgia's RT3 plan. View press release.

Federal Appeals Court Ruling Ensures Water for Metro Atlanta

In a unanimous decision, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Georgia's Lake Lanier is authorized for water supply, reversing a 2009 ruling by Senior U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson, who had found it was illegal for the Corps of Engineers to draw water from Lake Lanier to meet the needs of 3 million metro Atlanta residents. View article.

Gainesville In Top 100 "Best Cities for Job Growth 2011"

Gainesville, Georgia was named in the Top 100 among all cities in "Best Cities for Job Growth 2011" by newgeography.com. The site's Best Cities for Job Growth 2011 Rankings are a performance measure of job growth over short and longer terms. View article.

Georgia's HOPE Scholarships And Pre-K Programs Remain Strong

Georgia's lottery-funded HOPE scholarship and prekindergarten program will continue to be one of the nation's most, if not the most, generous state educational benefits under the state's new plan. View article.

World's Busiest Airport Increases Cargo Service to European

Atlanta's global trade connections are stronger because of a new all-cargo carrier. View article.

Georgia Only One of Eight States to Maintain AAA Bond Rating

Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch all have assigned triple-A bond ratings, the highest rating available. The ratings are reflection of the state's commitment to sound fiscal management and the conservative leadership of the General Assembly. View article.