The University of Georgia Archway Partnership recently announced Habersham County as the newest community to partner with UGA and the University System of Georgia, which will enhance local community economic development.

“Habersham County is well situated for community-wide discussions and change that will enhance growth and quality of life,” said Archway Director Mel Garber. “I commend community leaders for their vision and commitment to a unified effort and involvement of the entire community in this process.”

Founded in 2005, the Archway Partnership is an initiative to strengthen UGA’s land-grant mission by taking a grassroots approach in meeting locally identified community economic development needs. It creates “portal” counties through which the university’s teaching, research and service missions can address community-driven issues.

Since its inception, the Archway Partnership has worked with eight communities. In July 2011, Colquitt County officially became the Archway Partnership’s first “alumni” community, and on July 1, Glynn County became the second alumni community. Habersham County is the 10th community in Georgia to form an Archway Partnership.

“Community leaders in Habersham have laid the foundation for addressing community economic development through the Partnership for Growth,” said Matt Bishop, Archway Partnership operations coordinator. “We are excited about building on that foundation through the Archway Partnership to prioritize community challenges and opportunities that can be linked to higher education resources.”

In an Archway Partnership, the community drives the priority need process through executive and steering committees made up of local citizens and community leaders. Throughout the establishment of the Habersham County partnership, residents will have the opportunity to participate in community listening sessions and town hall meetings. The Archway Partnership will facilitate access to UGA faculty and student expertise to address the identified priority.

“We are delighted to establish a formal relationship with Habersham County through the Archway Partnership,” said Vice President for Public Service and Outreach Jennifer Frum. “Through Archway, the community will have full access to the knowledge and expertise of the university. In turn, by working collaboratively with a broad cross-section of stakeholders from the community, UGA faculty and students will gain an important understanding of real-time, critical community and economic development issues.”

About the Archway Partnership
A Public Service and Outreach unit of UGA, the Archway Partnership is an initiative that connects communities in Georgia with university resources to address the state’s most critical community economic development needs.