In conjunction with the annual summit, two supporting materials also made their debut at the event today: the Partnership Gwinnett initiatives’ Annual Report and the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Gwinnett Market Report. Both focus on job growth, education, quality of life and entrepreneurship- and Gwinnett’s impact in the Metro area and region at large. The 2011 PG Summit showcased Keynote speaker Mark Vitner, Managing Director and Senior Economist at Wells Fargo. A native of Atlanta, Mark Vitner is responsible for tracking U.S. and regional economic trends, and writes for the company’s Monthly Economic Outlook report, the Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary; providing regular updates on the housing markets, commercial real estate, regional economies, and inflation. Mr. Vitner’s commentary is regularly featured on CNBC and MSNBC, and has also been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and many other national publications.
When asked about the future of Gwinnett’s economic development, Mark Vitner said, “While growth will likely remain slow from a historical perspective, we expect the expansion to continue. Gwinnett County is actually recovering at a slightly faster pace than the overall Atlanta metro area. Businesses are increasingly choosing locations along the I-85 corridor, which offers a great deal of value relative to other submarkets and close proximity to high end neighborhoods and shopping.”
Education, primary school through post-graduate studies, is the cornerstone of Gwinnett’s impressive achievements as a community. “Partnership Gwinnett is building a thriving, global economy in Gwinnett County, thereby supporting educational excellence for every Gwinnett County Public Schools student,” said J. Alvin Wilbanks, CEO & Superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools, who addressed the summit attendees. “Partnership Gwinnett ensures that the county takes advantage of the opportunities that arise, or creates new ones, to enhance the quality both of the life we enjoy and the education we provide.”
Also speaking at the event was Mac Holladay, CEO of Market Street Services, describing what strategies are implemented in creating the plan for Partnership Gwinnett. Market Street serves as the consulting firm employed by Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development in the formation of the Partnership Gwinnett plan, and is a nationally recognized organization. Mac Holladay worked personally on both the original plan, created in 2007, and the next phase of the economic development initiative- Partnership Gwinnett 2.0, set to be unveiled later this year.
Leaders of that Partnership Gwinnett 2.0 initiative were also present at the summit. Partnership Gwinnett 2.0 Co-Chair, Randy Dellinger, District Manager at Jackson EMC, said, “Despite the economic downturn and nationwide unemployment crisis, Gwinnett County has had the lowest jobless rate in the core Metro Atlanta counties for the past 26 months. This is not by accident- it is through the partnership of dedicated individuals from the public and private sectors working in sync to generate results."
Gwinnett County leadership was also in attendance to show their support of economic development in the community. Gwinnett County District 2 Commissioner Lynette Howard said, “This annual summit provides a comprehensive review of the successes of the Gwinnett’s premiere economic development initiative- it is an opportunity for the community as a whole to see and understand the powerful impact that its successful implementation has had on the county: and a primary reason that we can continue to say with confidence that success lives here.”
“The Partnership Gwinnett initiative is a true success only because of the 160 public and private partners that dedicate their financial resources, time and energy to ensuring its development and in turn the continued growth of the economy, both in our community and in the region,” said Nick Masino, Vice-President of Economic Development and Partnership Gwinnett at the Gwinnett Chamber. “Their support and collaborative dedication has brought more than 280 companies and 12,000 jobs to Gwinnett since the inception of the initiative in 2007- a number that grows every day and will continue to flourish with their support.”
To view the 2011 Partnership Gwinnett Annual Report online, click here. To view the PG 2.0 Summit Video, click here. To learn more about the Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development and Partnership Gwinnett, please visit www.partnershipgwinnett.com.