Category Archives: Chamber News

Chamber, EDC to present community-wide workforce development strategic plan


For Immediate Release

Contact: Reedi Hawkins



January 22, 2020


Albany-Dougherty EDC, Chamber to present community-wide workforce development strategic plan

Albany, Ga. – The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission (ADEDC) and Albany Area Chamber of Commerce (AACC) will hold a launch event to present the findings from their joint strategic planning initiative on community-wide workforce development in Albany-Dougherty County. The event is open to the public and will be held on February 18 beginning at 11 a.m. in the Candy Room at the Riverfront Resource Center. At the event, information will be presented as to how community members may support and participate in the implementation of the work force strategy.

The strategic planning initiative kicked off in May 2019, with the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government (CVIOG) facilitating the process.

Throughout the discovery process, CVIOG met with community members, employers, job seekers, students and educational institutions to gain a holistic understanding of the workforce climate in Albany-Dougherty County. A steering committee of local stakeholders, working with CVIOG, guided the plan’s development, identifying priorities and strategic actions after reviewing significant qualitative and quantitative information. The February 18 plan presentation will syndicate that information into an all-encompassing strategic proposal designed to focus and bolster resources necessary to develop, attract, and retain talent in the area for industry and commerce.

“As the center for business and culture in Southwest Georgia, it’s vital that Albany-Dougherty County be adequately prepared for the coming trends in workforce development in order to lead the region into the next era of economic and community development,” said ADEDC President Justin Strickland. “The extensive research conducted through this planning process has resulted in the necessary directives to accomplish that goal.”

As a component of the long-term strategic plan, various stake-holding leaders volunteered to spearhead specific initiatives through the oversight of working groups.

“Representing the interests of hundreds of Southwest Georgia businesses and industries, the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the ADEDC, saw it uniquely fit to lead the initiative to conduct a comprehensive strategic plan on workforce development, as workforce needs consistently top the list of challenges to all businesses,” said Albany Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bárbara Rivera Holmes. “The Albany Area Chamber, as well as our member organizations, is committed to the long-term initiatives that strengthen Albany’s position as the driver of our region’s growth. Talent creation and retention are foundational to broad-based prosperity, and this plan will ensure these pieces fit into the framework of success for Albany and Southwest Georgia.”

The public event will begin with the strategic plan presentation at 11 a.m., with lunch to follow. Pre-registration is required here or by calling the Albany Area Chamber at 229.434.8700.


About the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission

The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission is a public-private partnership whose mission is to foster new investment and job creation through the recruitment, retention, and expansion of industry for Albany-Dougherty County.

About the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce

Since 1910, the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce has advocated for business success through leadership and economic development.

About the Carl Vinson Institute of Government

The Carl Vinson Institute of Government is a UGA Public Service and Outreach unit that provides customized assistance, applied research and professional development to help state and local governments operate more effectively and deliver improved service to the public.

Small Business Forum with the Georgians First Commission


For Immediate Release

December 11, 2019

Media Contact:

Bárbara Rivera Holmes



Albany Area Chamber to host Gov. Kemp, Small Business Forum

 Albany, Ga. – The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce will host Gov. Brian Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp as part of its 2ndannual Governor’s Dinner December 17 in Albany at the Hilton Garden Inn.

The event, which is sold out, is the governor’s first major event in Albany since taking office in January 2019.

“Supporting small businesses and supporting rural Georgia are two of Gov. Kemp’s primary initiatives, and both are critical for Georgia’s continue economic expansion and for maintaining Georgia’s standing as the best state in the country for business,” said Bárbara Rivera Holmes, president and CEO of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce. “Albany and the Albany Area are assets to the state – economically, culturally and environmentally. We are encouraged by Gov. Kemp’s recognition of this and by his efforts to lend attention and provide resources to the challenges and opportunities faced by small businsses and by rural communities.”

The Governor’s Dinner, which starts with a 6 p.m. reception, is presented by Colony Bank, Georgia’s 8th largest publicly traded bank and the largest community bank outside of Atlanta. The event is further sponsored by the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission, the Albany State University Foundation and Flint Equipment Co.

Also on December 17, the Albany Area Chamber and the Georgians First Commission will host a regional small business forum aimed at creating a direct line of communication between small businesses and the Governor’s Office. The Georgians First Commission is Kemp’s initiative to secure Georgia’s designation as the best sate in the nation for small business.

“The Georgians First Commission is excited to visit Albany and the community of Southwest Georgia for our upcoming business meeting” said Scott Hilton, executive director of the Governor’s Office.  “Governor Brian Kemp is focused on helping small businesses by reducing burdensome regulations that hinder innovation and growth in our state.  We look forward to hearing directly from business owners on how we can cut, streamline and improve government for all citizens.”

Small businesses are encouraged to attend the 9 a.m. forum, held at the Albany Welcome Center, 112 N. Front St. in downtown Albany. The event is free but pre-registration is required. Registration is available or by calling the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce at 229.434.8700.