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Posted: April 13, 2017 3:17 p.m.

Georgia Congressman Jody Hice tours Newton County businesses

Office of Economic Development shows 10th district representative why to ‘select Newton’

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Georgia Congressman Jody Hice and NCOED Vice President of Economic Development David Bernd visit the future home of Three Ring Studios in Covington. (Submitted Photo | The Covington News)

COVINGTON, Ga. – The Newton / Covington Office of Economic Development (NCOED) hosted Georgia Congressman Jody Hice this week on a tour of the area’s biggest business residents. The OED sought to give Hice, who represents Georgia’s 10th district, a picture of the economic opportunities presented by the current businesses located in the Newton / Covington / Walton area, as well as by some of the newer businesses just now breaking ground there.

“Almost 100,000 people moved to metro Atlanta last year, many in search of job opportunities,” David Bernd, vice president of economic development, NCOED, said. “Our job is to continue to build a quality talent pool and recruit residents within the Metro Atlanta region to make Newton County their home, which increases out potential workforce. That will, in turn, attract more businesses to relocate to Newton and continue to encourage our existing businesses to expand operations.”

The Atlanta area is the ninth-largest metropolitan statistical area in the country. The region grew by 1.6 percent from 2015 to 2016, boosting its population to 5,789,700. Metro Atlanta also added 77,000 jobs last year, the third-highest total among the nation’s 12 largest metro areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Atlanta Regional Commission. The 29-county Atlanta area trailed only Dallas and Phoenix. 1,144 of those new jobs were in the Newton/Covington/Walton area.

Hice visited three businesses on his tour of the region, which took place on Tuesday, April 11. Bard Medicala division of C.R. Bard, Inc., and Bridgestone Golf are both long-term business residents of Covington; the two together employ about 1,000. The third site on Hice’s visit was the future location of Three Ring Studios, a film, TV, music and video game production site scheduled to be operational by December 2017 with a potential for up to 3,000 new jobs, 2,000 in the county.

"Newton County has done a remarkable job of building a thriving community that includes quality of life, good schools and just enough distance from metro Atlanta to retain that sense of 'small town' community," added Bernd. "People are encouraged to settle here, to build a long-term future with a job and a family. I predict we will continue to see significant growth here over the next decade."

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