It’s not only the annual Masters that brings attention to Augusta-Richmond County, which has nearly 202,000 residents, but military, commercial, education and tourism projects are also commanding attention and bringing jobs.
The Augusta Economic Development Authority (EDA) facilitated more than $300 million in capital investment and announced more than 2,500 net new jobs during 2015 and 2016. In 2017, the authority approved more than $965 million in industrial revenue bond financing.
“We’ve got the second fastest-growing economy in the state of Georgia,” says Mayor Hardie Davis Jr., who won a second term in May. “This is an extremely exciting time for our city in terms of economic growth. It’s just been phenomenal.”
The Augusta metropolitan statistical area (MSA), which includes counties adjacent to Richmond, has seen record employment, with 242,700 jobs in March and a job growth rate of 3.2 percent in the first quarter of this year. That is double the national average according to research by Simon Medcalfe, an economist with Augusta University’s (AU) Hull College of Business. More than 7,000 new jobs have been added since July of last year.
City leaders, economic development officials, executives and residents are looking forward to more milestones as Augusta-Richmond County approaches 2020. That’s when U.S. Army Cyber Command Headquarters will consolidate eight separate facilities in the Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., area and move them to Fort Gordon, the region’s largest employer with a $2.4-billion annual economic impact.