Rausch has been the business editor since September 2008, previously serving as senior business reporter. He joined the Chronicle in April 2007. He has written for newspapers in Napoleon, Ohio, Moline, Ill., and Lima, Ohio. He holds a bachelor of science in journalism from Ohio University (1992). In 2006, he received a second place award in business writing from the Association Press in Ohio.
Posted October 13, 2011 09:36 am

First Bank of Georgia expanding

First Bank of Georgia will be building a new branch next year. They've got space near the road in front of the Kroger along Washington Road in Evans (across from Mellow Mushroom).

Bank President Remer Brinson said the groundbreaking will be in 2012 - an exact date to be determined later. And it could open next year too if they get a soon enough start on it.

"We want to see the fourth quarter and the economy before we determine what the actual date is," Brinson said.

Brinson said the new branch will have the same size and appearance of its other branches, such as Furys Ferry Road.

First Bank has owned that lot for years. "We knew that would be one of our next locations. Obviously, that's a good market. We've got a lot of customers," Brinson said.

The last time the bank had a big construction announcement was in 2005 when it opened its new headquarters on Wheeler Road.

A GAP: Brookings Insitution, the same think tank that brings us the quarterly analysis of resilient metropolitan economies where Augusta excelled for two years, has another piece comparing education and unemployment. It measures how well the education of a typical worker matches the level of education required by a typical job for all the metro areas.

Unemployment rates tend of be higher when the educational requirements of the "typical" job aren't being met by the workforce, the Brookings writers say.

Augusta's rank is 78 on the chart of 100 metro areas in the education gap, meaning there is an unfavorable match between education and the industry composition here. Brookings has developed a calculation that says Augusta needs 1.5 percent more years of education for the average worker. Let's all have a collective "huh?"

So, if the unemployed take a couple of college classes, the jobless rate will go down?

This study comes out of Washington, D.C., which happens to be the number one metro area on this list, where it seems that everyone is overqualified for the jobs.

EMPLOYEE OWNED: Xytex Cryo International, which is headquartered in Augusta, is now majority owned by its employees.

How? Through implementing an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.

"The ESOP creates broad-based ownership among our employee owners and fosters an environment in which everyone understands his or her role in helping the company achieve its bottom line, which is especially important in these economic times," said Kevin O'Brien, company president and chief operating officer.

Xytex is a cryogenic preservation company on Emmett Street.

Interestingly enough, October is Employee Ownership Month, which is why the company made its announcement this month.