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COMMISSIONERS PROMISE TO ‘BREAK THE MOLD’ DURING STRATEGIC SESSION
Leaders set goals to rethink and reimagine redevelopment
(Athens, Ga., March 23, 2023) – During their annual strategic planning session held in Athens, Ga., the Gwinnett Board of Commissioners promised to reimagine how they do government as a national benchmark community.
The sessions featured conversations around the County’s strengths, opportunities for growth, objectives and risks associated with attaining these goals. Key takeaways for commissioners and county leadership included leadership, providing exceptional services as the County continues to grow and evolve, and funding resources.
According to the Atlanta Regional Commission’s population and development forecast, by 2050 the average age of Gwinnett residents will be 44 years old, while households with families will experience a sharp and steady decline. Still, the forecast predicts the County’s population growing in diversity and the professional, technology and scientific industries dominating the workforce. Currently, health care and social work is the largest sector to employ people. Commissioners said their strategies and goals must focus on the changes happening now and in the future.
Gwinnett County Commission Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson said that as a growing and aging community, there are many challenges ahead of us.
“We are striving to turn those challenges, like affordable housing and workforce development, into opportunities by making solid decisions and implementing commonsense best practices,” said Hendrickson. “For instance, it’s time to rethink housing as a new form of economic development, and it’s time to rethink our reputation as a bedroom community by focusing on attracting employers from sectors that offer high-wage jobs.”
“Our exceptional employees are the reason Gwinnett is positioned as an innovative force across the country, “Vice-chair and District 2 Commissioner Ben Ku said. “We’ve successfully streamlined processes and plans, while creating a robust network of public and private stakeholders who embrace the County’s vision to rethink how we stay at the forefront of progress.
“Strategic partnerships are our hallmark and how we will continue to support our community for years to come,” said District 1 Commissioner Kirkland Carden. “We are only as strong as the people we serve and their successes in their daily lives will be a measure of our success.”
“While looking to the future of Gwinnett, we must also be willing to get behind nontraditional concepts,” said District 3 Commissioner Jasper Watkins. “These meetings challenged my colleagues and me to embrace best practices and implement unique ways to reimagine how we move forward.”
“This was my first retreat and I am thrilled to bond with my fellow board members and department directors to help implement how Gwinnett’s future looks,” said District 4 Commissioner Matthew Holtkamp. “With this forward-thinking and data-driven mindset, we are truly setting ourselves up as a benchmark community.”
The retreat yielded additional highlights:
- Gwinnett’s landscape is changing: The board has prioritized redevelopment to manage growth and shrinking land availability. Affordable housing tops that list.
- Workforce: The County’s job vacancy rate is a little more than 18%, placing retention efforts at the forefront.
- Parking lots into places: County developers say empty parking lots are full of promise. Greenspace, multi-use buildings and walkability are just a few ways those empty lots can be used.
Information about current and future Gwinnett County projects may be found on GwinnettCounty.com