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The deep connection between the University of Georgia and its home state is one of the defining characteristics of our institution. Through longstanding programs, UGA leverages institutional resources to help communities promote economic development and prosperity. This comprehensive approach led to an estimated impact of $5.7 billion on Georgia in the last year alone.

Jere Morehead University of Georgia President
Jere Morehead University of Georgia President

Our Small Business Development Center, with 17 offices across the state, is a great example of this approach. Over  the past five years, the SBDC has helped Georgians start more than 1,600 new businesses and create more than  12,000 jobs.  In Atlanta, our Office of Economic Development helps to strengthen UGA’s partnerships with private businesses and the Georgia Department of Economic Development.  On the coast, UGA’s Marine Extension Service and Carl Vinson Institute of Government are helping communities to create economic development plans to address serious environmental challenges, such as flooding and storm surges.

In 2016, UGA launched the Georgia Informatics Institutes and an undergraduate certificate program to help communities and businesses across the state capitalize on the data revolution, which is transforming the global economy. These efforts have advanced teaching and research related to informatics, analytics, and cybersecurity — critical to the growth of advanced manufacturing in Georgia. Students in the certificate program are gaining the digital literacy, data management, and information processing skills needed by Georgia’s employers. As a part of these efforts, UGA recently introduced the CyberArch Program to help individuals, businesses, and local governments identify ways to safeguard critical data and infrastructure.

UGA’s commitment to academics, research and outreach for the benefit of all Georgians is perhaps most visible in its support of agriculture and forest resources. Poultry, peanuts, soybeans, onions, pecans, cotton, and wood products are just a few of the many exports whose industries are supported by UGA’s statewide mission. Furthermore, they exemplify the strong partnerships that both UGA and the Georgia Ports Authority have with Georgia farmers and related businesses that grow the state economy.

These are just a few of the examples of UGA’s unwavering commitment to advancing Georgia’s growing economy. I am certain:  the future of Georgia and its flagship University go hand in hand. The University of Georgia is proud of the many partnerships that help to support all 159 counties across our home state.

This testimonial originally appeared in Georgia Ports Authority’s publication, “Georgia: #1 State in the Nation to do Business.” The book stands as a testament to the business-friendly environment in the Peach State, which has become a global destination for companies in a wide range of industries.