Chamber officer says EDGE program will bring 7,500 new jobs
by Jon Gillooly
November 07, 2012 03:01 AM | 2084 views | 1 1 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
VININGS — Competitive EDGE, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s five-year economic development program, is expected to create 7,500 new jobs that will bring $630 million to the county a year, Chamber Chief Operating Officer Demming Bass said.

“These are jobs that our team actually works. So they have to go out and talk to the company, recruit them, talk to existing industry and get them to expand,” Bass told the Vinings Business Association at its Tuesday meeting at Social Vinings restaurant.

The new jobs are expected to increase disposable income by $512 million and banking deposits by $253 million annually, Bass said.

The EDGE program, which is set to kick off Jan. 1, will also increase per capita income from $43,235 in 2009 to $50,529 in 2017; increase annual wages from $48,505 in 2010 to $56,224 in 2017; reduce unemployment to 5.5 percent in 2017; increase the number of adults with bachelor’s degrees from 45.1 percent in 2010 to 47.5 percent in 2017; and decrease the poverty rate from 11.4 percent in 2009 to 9.4 percent in 2017. Bass said.

The Chamber asked 40 CEOs if the EDGE had their support. It does, Bass said.

“We’re looking at a budget of about $4 million to $4.5 million (over five years) in private sector dollars,” Bass said. “There are federal grants out there and other public sectors that could raise it up to $7.5 million.”

Bass’ presentation eases some concerns that Southeast Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott had.

“The most important thing that he said was that the business community supports it,” Ott said. “That is the role of the Chamber, to get the business community together to help improve the environment for business and bring more jobs.”

Ott said he opposes county funding for the EDGE program.

“I’m all for the county working with the Chamber. A coordinated effort is definitely the way to go,” he said. “But I think when you get down to like the funding and actually getting out there, the business community (is responsible).”
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SG68
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November 07, 2012
I agree with Commissioner Ott. This should be a privately financed effort.

I am a little dubious of the claims made by the Chamber official, but as long as my tax dollars aren't in the pot he can spread all the BS he wants.

Given the results of last nights election I have a feeling we are going to be struggling to keep what we have. Anticipating business expansion and growth seems unlikely but there is no harm in trying.
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