Collins Meets with Pickens Businesses and Community Leaders
8/7/2018 ~ by Jessica Andrews
JASPER, Ga.—Rep. Doug Collins joined the Pickens County Chamber of Commerce for a roundtable discussion this Friday to talk about policy issues affecting education and the economy.
Roughly a dozen business and local leaders joined the event, which began with a conversation about the role tax reform has played in recent economic growth, as the economy expanded 4.1% in the second quarter of 2018.
“The business and industry aspect was where it was going to hit first because those were the areas for planning and growth, and we’re seeing that in the GDP numbers. We’re seeing it in growth. We’re seeing it in jobs,” said Collins.
“The reality is 90 percent have seen an increase in their take-home pay based on the new [tax withholding] charts,” he added, explaining that even more will notice the positive impact of the new tax system next April because 2018 is the first year in which the lower rates apply to individual earners.
“The other thing that we’ve seen . . . was deregulation and our moving away from regulatory issues that came from the [Obama] Administration, had never gone through Congress, but were impacting businesses,” said Collins, referring to the 16 Congressional Review Act resolutions that Congress has passed under President Trump to reverse Obama-era policies that often handicap American industry and rural areas in particular.
Participants also discussed the need for a greater focus on vocational development to address the need for more workers in Jasper communities.
“Workforce development and how we bring that up is huge,” agreed Collins, who recently voted for the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. President Trump signed the House bill into law last week in order to improve technical education and prepare men and women to succeed in the expanding job market in places like Northeast Georgia.
After hearing from the Chamber of Commerce, Collins visited a community health clinic and manufacturing sites in Jasper.
"The resourcefulness of this community never wanes, and I’m grateful that educators, business owners and health care professionals around Pickens took time to share their insight with me," said Collins.