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Regionalism Overview

Program Description | Downloads & Related Links | Contact Information

Program Description

In the winter of 1998, the Governor and General Assembly sponsored the creation of twelve state service delivery regions. At that time, each region outside metropolitan Atlanta dedicated field staff from the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and the Department of Economic Development (DEcD) to bring state resources closer to the people and to foster regional collaboration in community and economic development. In nine of the twelve regions, state agency staffs initially worked side-by-side with university personnel from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia. In a move toward greater efficiency, DCA in 2004 moved its regional personnel to home offices. Without sacrificing the quality of its services, the regional staffs continue to work with its development partners to better serve the needs of the State's local governments, established businesses and other clients. More...

During the 1998 Legislative Session, House Bill 1650 outlined state service delivery regions and called for boundary conformity in the delivery of state services at the regional level. House Bill 699, passed during the 1999 legislative session, amended those boundaries. Additional boundary adjustments were made in 2004 and 2005.

In addition to the creation of regional development teams, the legislature established 21-member Regional Advisory Councils (RAC) to:

  1. Assist in setting regional community and economic development priorities;
  2. Identify ways the state can better serve each region.

Public and private sector leaders appointed by DCA and DITT serve on the 21-member RACs and provide regular guidance to regional and state staff on departmentally-related opportunities such as leadership, infrastructure, growth management, affordable housing, community development financing; and entrepreneurial, tourism product, existing business and export development issues and initiatives. The Councils also collaborate with their Regional Development Centers to formulate a regional comprehensive plan and work program.

While not exclusive, central to DCA's regional effort is its External Affairs' Office of Regional Services.

This staff of twelve regionally-deployed personnel serves as DCA's first point of local government/community contact for brokering, supporting and implementing departmental programs and services. Generally, Regional Representatives:

  • Interact with local governments and community organizations, review local and regional plans, community goals and objectives, seeking opportunities for DCA and other resources and services to be utilized in reaching community goals and objectives.
  • Assist DCA Divisions in distributing programmatic and service information and products.
  • Maintain working relationships with the Georgia Rural Development Council, the Georgia Academy for Economic Development, University System and State Agency Partners, Regional Development Centers and other state and federal agencies that have community and economic development resources and services available to communities. Partnerships are also maintained with statewide developers and other private sector development organizations.
  • Point communities in the direction of partnering organizations or groups with expertise and resources that can be of help in solving problems or pursuing opportunities.

Specific Regional Representative activities and responsibilities include:

  • Community Contact - Visits with local government officials and leaders. Provide where possible technical assistance to communities, utilizing DCA's base of expertise and best practices that draw from common elements of quality growth and community preparedness approaches.
  • Regional Advisory Councils - Provide staff support to the 21-member Regional Advisory Councils and coordinates activities with DCA Board liaisons and Department of Economic Development (DEcD) staff partners.
  • Team Georgia/Signature Communities - Serves as regional "point" persons for DCA's developing Team Georgia and Signature Community Initiatives. Provides collaborative assistance to departmental specialists in identifying, responding to and completing requests of departmental clients. Assist in identifying communities and assisting them in developing competitive strategies for Signature Community designation.
  • Downtown Development - Consults with DCA's Office of Downtown Development, providing, as requested, technical assistance to Better Hometown, Classic Main Street and Urban Georgia Network cities, and other communities on downtown development issues.
  • Georgia Academy for Economic Development - Market and provide logistical support for annual regional Academy programs. This two-phased, outcome-based program provides basic economic development and leadership training.
  • Affordable Housing - Market and provide staffing assistance for DCA's Georgia Initiative for Community Housing and other workforce housing opportunities available through the Department.
  • Leadership Development - Cooperates with DCA's Leadership Development staff and coordinates with the University of Georgia's J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership to market and implement county-level leadership development programs.
  • Project Development - Work with clients to identify DCA and OneGeorgia financial assistance programmatic opportunities to assist communities with goal implementation.
  • Georgia Rural Development Council - Consults with DCA's Office of Rural Development, providing logistical support to the GRDC for regional meetings, conferences or other activities. Collects data and provides feedback on Council initiatives.
  • Regional Projects - Works with groups to foster regional cooperation and the implementation of regional projects.

Downloads & Related Links

Regional Map
Team Georgia
Georgia PlanFirst Program
Downtown Development
Georgia Academy for Economic Development
Housing Development
OneGeorgia Authority
Georgia Rural Development Council

Contact Information

Contact the Office of Regional Services or call Corinne Thornton at (706) 340-6461

Georgia Department of Community Affairs
60 Executive Park South, N.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30329-2231