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 December 8, 2011 02:38 pm - Updated December 8, 2011 02:39 pm

State economic developers want biotech branding for Georgia

One of the comments in the Thursday meeting of the board of the Georgia Department of Economic Development that perked up my ears was an effort to raise the average wage of the state over the course of the next couple of years.

To do that over the population of a state is through the creation of a lot of high-paying jobs.

The board was meeting in Augusta and not Atlanta so that it could take a tour of the Plant Vogtle construction site. Running the new nuclear reactors is one example of more high-paying jobs, but Commissioner Chris Cummiskey was really talking about more bio-tech jobs.

“We have as many resources in Georgia, in my opinion, in life sciences and technology realm as Palo Alto and the Research Triangle,” Cummiskey said.

There’s a lot of federal research money coming into Georgia, just not a lot of private investment with it.

“We need to find a way to brand it and get people to understand what we have in Georgia,” he said. “We need to find the next generation of jobs before the state next to us. ... It is not about new resources, it is about harnessing the ones that we have.”

In about six weeks, the department will roll out more of a plan to go along with the idea. There’s a possibility of a renewed interest in Fort McPherson as a research center, Cummiskey said.

A big resource is the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, but he also cited Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta, as well as Georgia Tech and Emory.

“Do we have all the answers from the four months we’ve been working on this? No. I think we have the game plan to bring the right people to the room to see how do we get there.”


ACQUIRED: David Parker, who owns David M. Parker Exterminating, has acquired B&D Pest Control in Thomson.


MOVED: Augusta Professional Auto Detail has a new location. They went from 3102 Washington Road to 1101 Laney Walker Blvd.


NOT A RECORD: This will not be a record setting year for foreclosed homes.

From January through October, there were 2,720 foreclosure filings in our six-county metro area. For the same 10 months of 2010, there were 3,321 home foreclosures.

I don’t see a flood of foreclosure filings coming in November and December to wipe out that 18 percent decline.

The data comes from RealtyTrac, which has been supply metro-level data for a couple of years now.

From January through October of 2009, there were 2,562 foreclosure filings, so there’s some room to drop before thinking this is anything more than moving from the broiler on high to the broiler on medium.