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Cordele first stop in Georgia Chamber Statewide Tour

By Erica O’Neal, Managing Editor

CORDELE– The Georgia Chamber of Commerce made its first stop on the Georgia Chamber Statewide Tour in Cordele on Monday, April 16. President and CEO, Chris Clark discussed economic opportunities for rural communities to thrive and what strategies are helping successful communities.

The Georgia Chamber this year is focusing on what Clark calls a ‘Rural Renaissance.’

As generations are aging, and human knowledge continues to double, how do rural communities keep up?

According to the Georgia Chamber, rural communities need to focus on being inclusive to all members of the community, as well as utilizing what already exists to strengthen the local economy.

Economic strengths in rural communities are things like:

Small businesses

Defense industry (military bases)

Manufacturing

Tourism

Agriculture

Forestry

Trade

Logistics

The Georgia Chamber also addressed education. 67% of rural 3rd graders cannot read at grade level. The next coming generation needs to focus on contextualized intelligence (relevant information, not just memorizing textbooks), having an entrepreneurial mindset (the changing workforce encourages people to be able to run their own business and think outside the box), developing a personal brand (people being able to successfully market themselves), automation literacy (be able to keep up with changing technology and know how to use it), and computational sense making.

Members of the community were in attendance including the Cordele-Crisp Chamber of Commerce, Crisp County Commissioners, Cordele City Commissioner Chairman John Wiggins, Representative Buddy Harden and Representative Patty Bentley.

This story will be continued on Saturday, April 21 to highlight what legislation has been passed recently to benefit Georgia’s rural communities.