The University of Georgia’s economic development office opened in Atlanta on Aug. 1, and the new office already took steps toward increasing UGA’s economic impact in Georgia.

Sean McMillan, hired as director of the new office on July 16, said he worked on at least one new project during his first week on the job.

He aided a company looking at Georgia as a potential location for a new business facility that would employ hundreds. Due to the confidentiality of the subject, he declined to share specific details.

“The idea was the company was interested in hearing from a dean of a particular school at UGA to help them to be better informed about their decision to locate this new facility and the investment and so forth and so on,” McMillan said. “And it worked very well.”

McMillan said most of his work at the Atlanta office will be similar to this first project.

“I’ll be leveraging the intellectual capital of UGA through all of the unique things that is being done on campus and across the state to solve problems that companies have,” he said.

Besides helping UGA staff and businesses, the new office will also provide services to students.

“There are tremendous opportunities for this office and for [McMillan] to connect students with internships and jobs in companies that are located or seeking to locate in Georgia,” said Jennifer Frum, vice president of public service and outreach for UGA and co-director of UGA’s economic development efforts.

McMillan said the location of the office in Atlanta’s Centergy Building on Fifth Street would help the development office.

“You need to have a presence in that building to take advantage of opportunities that would lend themselves to leveraging University of Georgia’s talent,” he said.

Frum said the building was “the hub of economic development in the state” and includes tenants such as the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Georgia Power, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Georgia Electrical Membership Corporation. She said UGA’s economic development office fit well into the building.

“Public service and outreach does all of the development authority training,” Frum said. “Development authorities are those local government institutions that finance local economic development projects, so we’re the major connection with development authorities with the economic developers that are located in each community.”

Co-Director of Economic Development at UGA David Lee said in McMillan is promising in his role as director.

“His proven ability to achieve measurable results and to establish and maintain strong relationships with both internal and external stakeholders will undoubtedly prove an asset to UGA as we strive for the continued economic betterment of the state,” he said in a press release.