The conference represents two “firsts” for the chairman, who chaired his first Clayton commission meeting last month.
Not only will it be his first time to attend the conference, it represents his first time to actually address those attending as he is scheduled to be on the program as part of a panel discussion involving other new south metro commission chairs, including Fayette County’s Steve Brown and Henry County’s Tommy Smith.
The panel discussion will have Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves and Atlanta Region Commission Director Doug Hooker as moderators.
“I am looking forward to making connections with people and networking with those attending who are in various positions of authority and influence in south metro as well as those in various industries,” Turner said.
“Although I never give up any opportunity to talk up Clayton County and the potential our county has to other government or business leaders, being that everyone will be under one roof at the Georgia International Convention Center makes for this conference makes the possibilities limitless.”
Turner said Clayton County is severely in need of economic development so as to bring new business and industry to the county, which, in addition, means new jobs.
“The conference gives me an opportunity to network with people who are business owners and economic development people who share the same enthusiasm for economic development as I do,” he said.
“These contacts can be so valuable as we move Clayton County forward into the future,” Turner added.
The chairman emphasized that from a collaborative standpoint, the conference also represents a great opportunity for the southern crescent to come together “and say this is what makes our area great,’ he said.
“It will allow us to discuss issues that not only impact south metro but the entire Atlanta region,” Turner added.
The chairman views south metro as a “forgotten area,” when it comes to job creation and economic development.
“There is a perception that all the economic development money is in the north part of the metro area,” Turner said.
“However, much of the business and industry traffic going to Atlanta and the northern segment of the metro area comes through Clayton County as we are a regional hub in terms of the trucking business, not to mention that the world’s busiest airport is Clayton County and south metro,” Turner added.
He added that around any other major airport, there is usually vibrant economic development. However, Turner said, that is not the case with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
“We are not as economically developed as our north side metro counterparts and that I see as a big problem which I want to change,” Turner said.