UGA program geared toward aiding economic development in South Georgia county

Lawyers in Athens, GAThe University of Georgia has often been touted by administrators and politicians for its economic impact beyond Athens, so it comes to no surprise that Colquitt County has experienced that effect first hand.

It is through the Archway Partnership, which was launched in 2005, that the county has had hundreds of UGA faculty and students partner with county officials to help the community.

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With the program, the Carl Vinson Institute of Government helped plan improvements to the county’s wastewater treatment plant, students from The College of Environment and Design designed landscaping and signage for a new business park and faculty from the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development planned a leadership curriculum that the county is now using to teach elementary and middle schoolers.

“I drive by our wastewater treatment plant, and it’s operational in large part due to help, interaction and input from UGA,” Roy Reeves, chair of the Colquitt County Archway Partnership executive committee, told The Red & Black. “I drive by Main Street Park knowing the preliminary drawings for that were done by a UGA student. I drive by Citizens Business Park, where Sanderson Farms is located, and the signage on the outside was done by a UGA student.”

Per an analysis completed earlier this year, the county’s economic activity has risen by $226.9 million since the partnership began back in 2005.

“Using our vast knowledge to make Georgia a better place to live and work is our key mission,” said Laura Meadows, interim vice president for public service and outreach. “That’s our commitment.”