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Deal touts film industry in State of the State
State of the State
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal delivers the State of the State address on the House floor while applauded by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, right, and House Speaker David Ralston at the state Capitol in Atlanta, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

COVINGTON, Ga. — One of Newton County’s most visible industries got top billing from Gov. Nathan Deal in his final State of the State speech.

In fact, the film industry was the first area of growth Deal touted as he looked back on his term, 10 months before the election for his successor.

“Just 10 years ago, this industry generated $241 million in economic impact for the state,” Deal told lawmakers Thursday at the Capitol in Atlanta.

“This past fiscal year alone, it generated $9.5 billion in economic impact. That’s quite impressive growth for this tree of opportunity.”

Deal said the Georgia Film Academy — a collaboration between the University of Georgia and the state’s technical college system —along with a growing list of movie studios, will ensure the state sets more records for production in 2018.

The governor said the Motion Picture Association of America reports the film industry generates more than 92,000 jobs with an average annual salary of $84,000.

“More than 200 new companies have located in the state to support this blossoming industry,” Deal said. “These businesses and the infrastructure they build are what create permanent jobs for costume and set designers, electricians, camera operators, actors and other skilled industry professionals.”