The University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth recently published its Georgia Economic Outlook for 2018. That report says, “on average, Georgia’s economic growth will significantly outpace the nation’s growth.” It adds that unemployment will be low and wages will rise as the demand for skilled labor increases. But it also states that many of those jobs will be filled by “in-migration of young educated workers moving to Georgia.”
Why are so many jobs filled by new residents to the state? Identifying “Georgia’s Greatest Weakness” as the lack of emphasis on education, the report says, “bolstering education will go a long way towards assuring that Georgia’s economic performance remains among the best in the nation.”
Newton County has made much progress in recent years in preparing for the challenges of an ever-changing economy. Excellent jobs are coming to Newton County, and to sustain that trend the emphasis on education must not be lessened – it must continue to grow. Many of the new jobs will require special facilities and equipment for training purposes. The state of Georgia has shown its confidence in Newton County by placing a world class training facility here.
Everyone benefits when a community’s educational level grows. A 2017 Department of Community Affairs report, entitled Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, demonstrates that when a community supports excellence in education it also experiences lower unemployment, less poverty, higher household income and higher property values.
On May 22 the voters of Newton County will have an opportunity to show their support for educational excellence and their appreciation for the impact it has on the quality of life for everyone. Please vote “yes” to continue the current Education SPLOST.
Editor’s note: Jerry Roseberry is mayor of Oxford. The thoughts expressed here are his opinion and not intended to represent those of the city of Oxford or any organization.