At that time, Winters said seven out of ten Chattooga County residents said they were unsure of the future for their jobs.
"Let us know what you need," was Winters message to existing industry ten years ago. Before the end of his first term, Mohawk announced a major expansion in Summerville which added 375 jobs, and Winters pointed out that Chattooga was one of few counties in the country with a population under 30,000 to actually add manufacturing jobs during the downturn.
Today, only two out of ten Chattooga residents claim they are worried about their jobs. The unemployment rate in Chattooga County in December was 4.2 percent.
"Now is a good time to be in a rural community," Winters said. He explained that the numerous politicians running for Governor are making the rounds and looking to score political points wherever they can.
Winters spoke of the importance of regional partnerships and reminded the civic group that leaders in Chattooga County were early supporters of the effort to widen Ga. 140 from U.S. 27 in Armuchee to I-75 in Adairsville. "Ga. 140 has the highest ratio of trucks to cars of any two-lane highway in Georgia," Winters said. He said officials in Chattooga County told Georgia Department of transportation officials they would rather see some of the $130 million earmarked for a Summerville Bypass years ago be shifted to the Georgia 140 project.
"Our economy has an effect on your economy," Winters said, pointing to the many Chattooga residents who make the daily commute into Rome for work every day.