Gwinnett County is an increasingly diverse and dynamic regional powerhouse that has long been a leader in population and jobs growth.

Nick Masino, Chief Economic Development Officer with Partnership Gwinnett, offered key insights about demographic trends, transportation improvements and business developments that are transforming the county and reshaping metro Atlanta.

Where do you see economic development in Gwinnett County heading in the next 5-10 years?

Gwinnett will continue a forward-thinking approach when it comes to economic development strategy and implementation. We are seeing growth in our five target industries (Information & Technology Solutions, Health Sciences & Services, Professional & Corporate Services, Supply Chain Management and Advanced Manufacturing) as well as the start-up and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

We are focused on talent development and ensuring our existing and new businesses have the workforce they need to succeed, as well as encouraging development & redevelopment to aid companies in attracting and retaining highly skilled talent. Gwinnett will also continue to be a leader in infrastructure development with the opening of Gwinnett’s water innovation center and the rollout of a new transportation plan.

The majority of Gwinnett companies are staying and growing in place, and we are focused on those existing business and providing them with the resources and environment that they need to thrive.

What are some of the biggest opportunities or projects/initiatives that may impact economic development in Gwinnett County?

Gwinnett County is really showing initiative when is comes to long-term strategic planning and investing in the future success of our community. With over $2 billion in development coming out of the ground right now, we are taking advantage of both development and redevelopment opportunities across the county.

These projects – including Revel at the Infinite Energy Center, Gwinnett County’s purchase of a portion of OFS, and mixed-use developments across our downtowns – are a draw for companies and the young talent they are trying to recruit. These projects, paired with Gwinnett’s forward-looking approach to transit expansion, are setting the county up for continued growth and success.

Employers across metro Atlanta and nationally are often having trouble finding qualified workers for open positions. What is Partnership Gwinnett doing to address this issue?

Partnership Gwinnett supports the talent needs of Gwinnett employers by convening and catalyzing profitable workforce system relationships. These relationships allow Gwinnett businesses to leverage the business services of our Atlanta Regional Workforce Development Board and the Georgia Department of Labor to identify available and unseen talent for their consideration.

We also work to connect employers with the pipeline of developing talent coming from Gwinnett County Public Schools, Gwinnett Technical College, and Georgia Gwinnett College to address their anticipated workforce needs in a proactive manner. Additionally, these same partners can provide support for training and development, not just for new employees but for incumbent workers who may need new skills sets.

What are some challenges facing Gwinnett County?

Gwinnett County is one of the fastest growing communities in metro Atlanta. This rapid growth can present unique challenges when it comes to development, infrastructure, and keeping up with rapidly changing demographics and demands. Gwinnett has done a great job keeping these needs in mind and creating programs, events, and community development initiatives that work to include all residents and continue to make Gwinnett the best place to live, work, and play in metro Atlanta.

What are some notable companies or organizations that have located or expanded in Gwinnett County in the past 6-12 months?

In the last 12 months, Partnership Gwinnett has assisted in bringing over 2,300 new jobs and more than $170 billion in capital investment to Gwinnett County. These relocations and expansions have included: The expansion of Wallace Graphics, OFS Fitel, LLC’s expansion; the location of the Assurant technical support center; Publix Super Markets Atlanta Dairy plant expansion; and the new Carcoustics manufacturing facility.

What’s your take on the overall economy of Gwinnett County and how does Partnership Gwinnett fit into the regional picture?

The economic outlook for Gwinnett is very strong. We continue to see an increase in jobs, capital investment, and average wage, as well as investment from abroad. Gwinnett is projected to be the most populous county in the state in the coming years, and Partnership Gwinnett understands that this means our economic strategy and success has implications for the entire region. We are an active regional player and rely on our strong partnerships with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Atlanta Regional Commission, Metro Atlanta Chamber, Innovation Crescent and more to support economic development across the state.

Photo: Artist’s rendering of Revel, a mixed-use development project from North American Properties at Infinite Energy Center

What’s Next ATL, produced by the Atlanta Regional Commission, is a community resource that explores how metro Atlanta is growing and changing, and how the region is addressing its most pressing challenges.