Deal called the state “the No. 1 place in the nation to do business” and said the state has gained 241,000 new private-sector jobs since he took office in 2011.
“For my part, I am continually working to keep Georgia the top state for business, because I believe meaningful jobs form the foundation of strong homes and a healthy economy,” he said. “Continuing strategic investments in this area will only serve to improve the competitiveness of Georgia.”
Deal said projects such as the 285/400 interchange, Georgia Competitiveness Initiative, education funding and the High Demand Career Initiative were top priorities.
He used the kept promise of ending the tolls on Georgia 400 as an example of his dedication to improving the 285/400 interchange.
“It will relieve congestion in a pivotal area, allowing for even greater improvements and development of this region,” Deal said about the roadwork.
“We currently have teams working diligently to find ways to advance this project without hampering other priorities around the state.”
While Deal called transportation one important aspect of growth, he said the Georgia Competitiveness Initiative would serve as “an ongoing look into where the state stands in the global marketplace and how we can improve it.”
“For instance, we included $25 million in the 2014 budget to help local communities and development authorities build critical elements needed to attract and retain companies,” he said.
Perhaps the most important future investment for the Perimeter area and the state, Deal added, is the education system.
“In our budget, we have included about a half a billion dollars in additional K-12 education funding, the largest single-year increase in seven years, which will help eliminate furloughs and give teachers raises,” he said.
For higher education, Deal said the implementation of a new High Demand Career Initiative will “bring together key members of the education, public and private sectors and give businesses the opportunity to help shape the workforce of tomorrow,” by paying for 100 percent of the education costs for certain technical degrees such as early childhood development and commercial driving licenses.
Deal ended by calling the Perimeter “a bright spot for the state of Georgia as private and public sectors work together to make further improvements and developments here.”