What’s New

Place Update – October 2016

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in Place | Comments Off on Place Update – October 2016

Place Update – October 2016
The development process is an interesting, often messy, mesh of citizen input, comprehensive planning and market forces. The public provides input on what kind of development they’d like to see and it is not uncommon that some want no development whatsoever. The planners try to determine what growth is best to sustain community vitality within constraints of utilities and infrastructure capacity. Developers want to build what the market will buy so they, their employees and contractors can earn a living and get a return for the risk taken and capital invested.
The Georgia Department of Community Affairs requires comp plan updates every five years and complete revisions every 10 years. Fayette County and the municipalities must update or revise their comp plans by June 30, 2017. For the first time, Fayette County and the cities are working together to create a cohesive plan for the entire County. Comp plans require significant public input during updates and revisions. The County and municipalities have begun the revision process, which includes citizen committees and numerous public comment sessions. Citizen participation is critical during the revision of the comp plan as it will serve as the future land use map, a guide for future growth and the basis for which zoning codes and development plans are created.
Each local government is now holding meetings on the comprehensive plan and will be conducting online surveys.  When the surveys are ready, Fayette Visioning will assist by sending out to newsletter subscribers and sharing through social media and ask all to complete the surveys.

Education Update – October 2016

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in Education | Comments Off on Education Update – October 2016

Education Update – October 2016
Eighth-grade teams in Flat Rock Middle School’s Business Education & Computer Science Connections class participated in the school’s inaugural Shark Tank project.  This entrepreneurship project, inspired by the hit ABC show Shark Tank, required student groups to bring to life a product idea with a simple marketing plan, messaging and when appropriate, a product sample or prototype. Groups consisted of three to five students.  The types of goods and services the groups developed ranged from electronic products to online retail to catering to a bakery.
Group 3 students Kennedy, Kieran, Destiny and Alberto (pictured above) Group #3 came up with a retail bakery concept called the Holiday Experiment and their tag line was “where the holidays are everyday!” The students not only provided the “sharks” with samples of their fine baked goods, the group delivered a cohesive, professional presentation of their business concept.
Seven “sharks” (business leaders) participated providing expertise, advice and knowledge to the students while scoring the group projects. Students welcomed the real-world perspective the “sharks” provided.  Community participants included:
  • Carlotta Ungaro: President & CEO of Fayette Chamber of Commerce
  • Jennifer Barnett: Owner of the Dusty Rose Consignment Boutique in Peachtree City
  • Sheila Dusseau: Director of Law Ops & Finance
  • Lisa Collins: Director of CTE for Fayette County Public Schools
  • Mark Turner : CEO of Turner PhotoDesign here in Fayetteville
  • Vendo Toming: Principal of VT Associates, LLC in Peachtree City
  • Dr. Ted Lombard: Coordinator of Safety, Athletics and Discipline for Fayette County Public Schools

Economy Update – October 2016

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in Economy | Comments Off on Economy Update – October 2016

Economy Update – October 2016
Aviation took the first place prize of $20,000 in the inaugural Metro Export Challenge, which will go towards expanding their brand into new markets such as China and Ireland.
The 2016 Atlanta Metro Export Challenge is a JPMorgan Chase-powered grant program created to help businesses begin or expand their exporting programs.  The grants were awarded through a process that included a “Shark Tank”-style pitch competition and public online voting.
“Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States, so we must encourage local businesses to sell internationally” said Hala Moddelmog, president and CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber. “We’re excited to watch these winners utilize their grant funds to make more meaningful worldwide connections. Their success in the international marketplace will ultimately enhance our city’s economy and global presence.”
Over the past decade, Atlanta has climbed to 64th from 71st among the Top 100 U.S. metros for exports. In fact, export businesses can now be found in every single metro Atlanta county and in more than 80 percent of Georgia’s 159 counties,” said Dwayne C. Meeks, UPS South Atlantic district president and Atlanta Metro Export Plan (MEP) chairman.
 “We are delighted that the MEP has recognized the potential export growth in our region, and we look forward to the continued support and guidance as we pursue our goals.” said Talha Faruqi, Vice President Operations of Aventure Aviation. For more information about the Atlanta MEP and the region’s export initiatives, visit www.atlantaexportportal.com.
Aventure Aviation is a leading ASA-100 accredited aviation parts and services company headquartered in Peachtree City. With offices in Toronto, Dubai, Riga and Istanbul as well as representatives in strategic locations worldwide. Since 2001, Aventure has earned numerous industry recognitions, including Aircraft Technology Engineering & Maintenance’s (ATE&M) “Best Spare Parts Provider 2011” award. Aventure also has been ranked among America’s fastest growing private companies for 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 by Inc. Magazine.

Place Update – August 2016

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in Place | Comments Off on Place Update – August 2016

Place Update – August 2016
As one of the more rural counties in the Metro Atlanta area, Fayette County has unique livability offerings.  Fayetteville, founded in 1823 offers historic charm with modern amenities such as one of the best hospitals in the nation.  Peachtree City, with its villages and multiuse path system, is like no other place for family and connectivity.  Up-and-coming Tyrone has been named the happiest town in Georgia!  Brooks and Woolsey offer small-town living at its finest.
Last week, Dan Cathy and business partners unveiled initial plans for Pinewood Forrest, a mixed-use development across the street from Pinewood Atlanta Studios.  The project is expected to have a significant investment on 230 acres.  When built out, the development is expected to have 1,300 residences, hotels, retail, office and healthcare facilities.
Another feature of the development is a proposed performing arts center.  Cathy refers to the entire development as “the ultimate sandbox for a creative artist.”

Community Update – August 2016

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in Community | Comments Off on Community Update – August 2016

Community Update – August 2016
Peachtree City sets up Community Policing
Chief Janet Moon has revamped Peachtree City’s policing program with a focus on connecting with the community.  The police department, in conjunction with fire rescue frequently posts community information along with positive news about goings on with the City’s first responders on their Facebook page,Peachtree City Police Department and Peachtree City Fire and Rescue and theirTwitter page.
The police website page is another opportunity for engagement.  There, citizens can sign up to receive alerts. Citizens can also file complaints.  This type of ongoing communication helps build public trust.
In April, the police department launched acommunity policing program, headed up by Sgt. Brian Eden.  The goal was to “define what an individual’s door was” and meet them there.  This could be a home, a neighborhood meeting or any place that people gather. Each of the 179 neighborhoods has an assigned officer.  The list of community officers and their contact information is list by neighborhood on thewebsite.
The best way to know what’s going on? Check out the Calendar on the Fayette Visioning website at www.FayetteVision.org/events.
The next Community Committee meeting is Monday, September 19 at 7 p.m. at GRACE Church in Fayetteville.

Education Update – August 2016

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in Education | Comments Off on Education Update – August 2016

Education Update – August 2016
The Fayette County School system is looking to grow the number of interns that they place with businesses.  Last year, Fayette County placed 77 work-based learning interns in the first half of the year and grew to 90 workers by second semester.  Students are able to explore their career interests firsthand while gaining valuable work experience and building important business relationships.
“The students in the program are talented young adults, and they are eager to see firsthand how the things they are learning in school are applied in the workplace. This program is a fabulous way to make an impact in our community.” says WBL Coordinator, Virginia Gibbs.
So do you have your intern yet?  The school year starts next week.  It’s not too late!  The WBL Coordinator qualifies each business which is part of the program, and businesses must provide a mentor to help guide the student. Internships may be paid or unpaid, depending on the job description as it related to DOL requirements. Students work at least five hours a week for each period they are enrolled in Work-based Learning, but may work more if that is of interest to the employer or student.  Students receive elective course credit for successful completion of the prorgam.
To learn more about Work-Based Learning, contact Virginia Gibbs, coordinator of Innovative Partnerships, Work-Based Learning and Youth Apprenticeships at 770-716-1209 ext 231 orgibbs.virginia@mail.fcboe.org  or visit thewebpage here.
The next Education Committee meeting is Tuesday, August 16 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. at the Fayette Chamber of Commerce

Economy Update – August 2016

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in Economy | Comments Off on Economy Update – August 2016

Economy Update – August 2016
The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) featured Fayette County in this month’s edition of their magazine, HUB.  TAG has been seeking opportunities to identify high-tech companies on the south side of the Metro Atlanta region as well as grow the high-tech sector.  The programs identified in the Fayette Visioning Economy plan pertaining to start-up support and the Chamber’s new technology council are venues for partnership and to leverage TAG’s expertise.
The article titled, “Fayette Forward” looks at existing technology-based businesses as well as up-and-coming technology.  In researching the story, we found some interesting nuggets about Fayette County.  For example, Fayette County is on Georgia’s top ten list for patents issued.  Eaton Corp. is the leader for patent generation in Fayette County as they continue to develop new lighting technologies.  Other companies featured in the article include Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America, NAECO and Southern NetworX
Fayette County’s emerging technology industries are expected to come from the film industry.  Thanks to Pinewood Atlanta Studios, Fayette County is in a prime position to attract post-production facilities.
To read the article in its entirety, click here.  Please note there is a fee to view the online magazine.  Hard copies of the HUB are available at no charge at the Fayette Chamber office.
The next Economy Committee meeting is September 13 at 8 a.m. at The Harbin Agency in Tyrone. 

Economy Update June 2016

Posted by on Jun 22, 2016 in Economy | Comments Off on Economy Update June 2016

Economy Update June 2016

The Fayette County Development Authority (FCDA) has rolled out its new marketing plan.  The plan follows basic Marketing 101 focusing on three of the four marketing Ps:  product, price and promotion.

Product, in the world of economic development, means available buildings, usually 25,000 sq. ft. or larger, or available property that could accommodate buildings of that size.  The property is typically zoned industrial or office/commercial.  FCDA’s team has identified more than 700 acres of available land to market and is working with property owners to show the property when the right prospect is interested.

The second P, price, includes, but is not limited to, the price of the available property, property tax, local and state fees and the cost of labor.  FCDA is currently negotiating with land owners the asking prices of available property so that Fayette County is in a better position at the negotiation table.  For an expanding or relocating industry, land price isn’t the only cost considered.  When appropriate, FCDA uses incentives to reduce costs for potential businesses in targeted industries.  Labor costs is another key component companies consider. Southern Crescent is part of the statewide QuickStart program offering training programs to help businesses adding jobs.

The third P is promotion and is the most visible part of marketing.  FCDA’s marketing plans include rebuilding instate partner relationships with one-on-one meetings with state and utility project managers, increased participation in industry associations and hosting a developers day.  The plan also includes media campaigns and direct sales in target industries.

The Fayette County Development Authority has proposed an increase in its budget in a range comparable to its 2013 budget.  This year’s funding request includes funding from all of the municipalities on a per capita funding formula.  Tyrone, Brooks, and Woolsey have agreed to their portion of the funding.  Fayette County, Fayetteville and Peachtree City have not yet approved their budgets for the next fiscal year and will consider the funding at that time.

Place Update June 2016

Posted by on Jun 21, 2016 in Place | Comments Off on Place Update June 2016

Place Update June 2016

by Carlotta Ungaro

One year ago, my Fayette Citizen column was titled, “What’s In a Brand?” I talked about the importance of community branding because the Fayette County Development Authority (FCDA) had plans for a new brand.  However, during their due diligence, FCDA decided their branding effort would be stronger if it also included two additional objectives in the Fayette Visioning plan, community cohesiveness and talent attraction.

Most people understand community cohesiveness but what is talent attraction?  We define it as attracting young families that place a high value on education to Fayette County.  We have built our County’s reputation on excellent K-12 education but we are not standing out on this asset as well as we have in the past. The need to do a better job of telling our Fayette story is even more critical in today’s world of 140-character messaging, information overload and constant distractions. A concise, authentic, and cohesive message along with a well-executed solid marketing strategy can help break through the communication clutter.

The Fayette Chamber and FCDA have brought together local experts and passionate citizens that are graciously offering up their time and expertise to serve on a branding task force.  We asked our local government leaders, as well as leaders with Peachtree City Convention & Visitors Bureau and Main Street Fayetteville, to identify people with expertise in community development.  We found out that Fayette County has a high concentration of community development leaders living right here! The team includes an economic development consultant, leaders in our local art community and numerous others with marketing expertise from various industries.   The task force also includes two Fayette County residents that worked directly on the Atlanta Chamber’s groundbreaking talent attraction campaign called ChooseATL, as well as Commissioner Steve Brown who was on its advisory board.  The primary responsibilities of the task force are to select the firm that will develop the brand and strategy and to oversee the rollout.

Last year’s article defined branding as “building the identity of a product or service, organization, individual and yes, even a community through marketing and messaging.” Scott Cook, co-founder of Intuit, hit the nail on the head on how social media has changed the way we market when he said, “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.” For a community, Cook’s statement means the brand message must be authentic, believable and reflect the culture and characteristics of that community.  The task force has taken this mantra to heart as they go through the firm selection and plan implementation processes.

This branding campaign is a public-private partnership.  Funds to develop and execute the plan come from our local governments, community marketing partners and the private sector.  For updates on the branding project, please sign up for the Fayette Visioning newsletter at Fayette@fayettevisioning.org.  We will also be reporting to our partners, including local governments as this project progresses.

Education Update June 2016

Posted by on Jun 21, 2016 in Education | Comments Off on Education Update June 2016

Education Update June 2016

Fayette County has had limited offerings from post-secondary institutions within the county.  Clayton State and Central Michigan University both offer classes in Peachtree City but until last year, there was no post-secondary campuses in Fayette County.

Georgia Military College (GMC) opened the Fayetteville campus in the summer of 2015. Its first semester saw an enrollment of 284 students which has increased on average about 30 percent. With its launch, GMC is offering 21 associate’s degrees and will offer bachelor’s degrees in business management and supervision and management beginning in 2017. This year, GMC was proud to present 11 graduation diplomas and to have more than 240 students on the Presidents or Dean’s lists during the first school year.

GMC has become a strong partner in the community particularly with internships at places like Pinewood Atlanta Studios and affiliated service providers in the film industry.

GMC is headquartered in Milledgeville, Ga. and currently has 11 additional campuses.

In January 2015, Gov. Deal announced the formation of the Georgia Film Academy (GFA).  The Fayetteville campus opened this year and is co-located at Pinewood Atlanta studios.  GFA partners with the existing university system including Clayton State University.  Jeffrey Stepakoff heads up GFA and calls the program a “soups to nuts training program where students are exposed to all the basic production crafts.”  Stepakoff sees writing as a key catalyst for Georgia’s film industry and is working on growing this sector of the business.