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Governor, Tech Companies Push Ga. Jobs

The Technology Association of Georgia brings Gov. Deal, legislators to McKesson in Alpharetta for a pep rally on the state's technology industry strengths.

Gov. Nathan Deal visited one of Alpharetta's high-tech companies along with members of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) to publicize the strength of the state's technology industries.

Jim Maran, President and CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, and Nick Masino, Vice President of Economic Development at the Chamber, were both on hand for the talk.

More than 13,000 technology companies employ more than 250,000 Georgians, Deal said. McKesson, one of those companies, was the site for TAG's efforts today to push that technology is "Where Georgia Leads," the buzzwords for the initiative.

Deal and TAG officials identified health IT, logistics, financial technology, information security and IT communications as Georgia's strong points.

Deal said meetings will be held in Savannah, Macon and Cartersville to discuss what elements are needed in a strategic plan for science and technology in Georgia. These meetings are one of the results of passage of Senate Resolution 68.

TAG decided to take the reins of these efforts, said Tino Mantella, president and CEO of the organization.

The state is seeing the growth of technology in industries such as entertainment and interactive marketing, the governor said.

"These companies thrive on innovation, and the young, educated adults that flock to Atlanta to provide a perfect setting for this work to take place," Deal said.

Georgia is home to more than 60 video game development companies, he said.

"And we've become a hub for nationally recognized interactive marketing firms like SilverPop and Definition 6," Deal said.

The state has the number one entreprenurial environment and has a young, educated workforce, giving the state a unique potential for growth.

Deal told those assembled that he wanted them to take part in the SR 68 Commission meetings to determine what the state can do to be more competitive in science and technology.

The first meeting will be July 20 at Cisco, with part of it open to the public.

"The top focus of my administration is competitiveness and job creation," Deal said. "And a strategic plan for science and technology is an important piece of that puzzle."

"I do believe that it is this environment of technology, entrepeneurship and innovation that will lead our state, and indeed our country, out of this recession," the governor said.

Rep. Chuck Martin, R-Alpharetta, said the state is trying to keep a focus on growing technology. He said it's a clean industry that allows working form home and has high-paying jobs.

"It's been an industry that we've been working to promote in Georgia for a number of years. The previous administration, in my mind, wasn't as committed to it as Gov. Deal is. We've seen his involvement in it and TAG."

Martin said the state still needs to promote its agri-business, but especially in the metro area the technology industry is something that needs to be incentivized and helped.

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