“We are plotting a new course for how we practice economic development at the county level,” said Fulton County Economic Development Administrator Kenneth Dobson. “We’re going to facilitate a public/private partnership. We are going to emphasize collaboration between the public sector and the private sector.”
Fulton County Commissioners have authorized creation of the Economic Development Advisory Committee, Dobson said.
“Essentially what we are putting into place is an environment in which thought leaders throughout every sector of the business community can walk into a room, collaborate with each other, think of themselves more or less as artists looking at a clear canvas and creating a picture for how to grow a sustainable tax base for Fulton County from their points of view,” he said.
Dobson said he wanted to work with mayors throughout Fulton County to highlight opportunities available in different areas.
“This is one of the most robust regions in the country of any kind,” he said. “You are lightyears ahead of [other areas] and we want the world to know about that through other ways and means.”
Economic development will work best when different levels of government — such as county and city — work together and relationships between the public and private entities thrive, Dobson said.
Dobson said the county’s economic development staff will not be promoting competition within the county but they will compete with other counties in the state and across the nation.
“From our point of view, as long as they are in the county, the connectivity between them is less important,” he said.
Part of this endeavor will include an interactive website including business opportunities and best practices from different cities where economic development has been approached.