When approaching any type of economic development, it is imperative that you familiarize yourself with the framework that you are building upon. In most cases, this demands that one take a close look at the state of the infrastructure within one’s community. This can be more simply described as community development. It goes without saying that a community must be a suitable and attractive location for any prospective industry, and in Blakely-Early County, we are very fortunate to have a location that meets almost any requirement an industry could have when looking to locate.
Situated in Southwest Georgia, 52 miles from Albany, GA, 32 miles from Dothan, AL, and 82 miles from Tallahassee, FL, Blakely-Early County is a perfect crossroads for transportation and commerce. Add to the fact that the soon to be completed Hwy. 27 four-lane project (which has already been completed through Blakely) runs through the heart of our county, as well as the Chattahoochee River on our western border, and it becomes easy to see that this region is ripe for expansion. We are also a hub for two of the nation’s major railroads, which already service major local industries such as Georgia-Pacific, Birdsong Peanuts, Golden Peanut, and Olam Edible Nuts. These existing industries, with foundations in agriculture, provide a solid industrial network.
Agriculture, as evidenced by the many rolling fields visible in our region, has always been key to the progress of our community. Now, with the help of many forward-thinking individuals, we are beginning to move into the exciting areas of organic agriculture and alternative production. White Oak Pastures, located in the northern expanse of Early County, is one of the fastest growing businesses in the state of Georgia. Providing their customers with grass-fed beef, free range poultry, and organic vegetables, among many other products, they have helped move our agricultural mentality into the twenty-first century, and well ahead of many of their competitors.
Apart from larger industry and agriculture, Blakely-Early County is also home to a large number of retail stores that are able to provide for the wants and needs of anyone. Here you will find a bustling downtown economy that captures the small town charm which is becoming harder to find in today’s fast-paced world.
Our health care and education systems are also two of our most valuable assets. Pioneer Community Hospital of Early is an award winning hospital that provides premium care to anyone in need of it. As one of our largest employers, it is essential to our growth as a community. We are also home to Primary Care of Southwest Georgia. This integral part of our health care system has provided high-quality service to members of our community for years, and continues to grow as one of the most well respected institutions in our region. In the education field we have the Early County School System, Southwest Georgia Academy, and Bainbridge College. These schools lay the groundwork for a well-trained workforce that is capable of handling any job that may be thrown its way.
As you can see, Blakely-Early County is a wonderful location with endless possibilities. With an already strong economic system in place, it will be exciting to see what the future has to hold.