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Launching the B-LIST: Barrow County's Bold Step Towards Industry Collaboration and Growth

On January 25th, an innovative initiative took root in Barrow County, Georgia, as the Barrow Local Industry Support Team (B-LIST) embarked on its inaugural visit to a cornerstone of the local economy, the Stepan Company Winder Plant. This visit, led by a coalition of economic development and educational leaders, marks the commencement of a strategic effort to foster collaboration between key industries and the educational sector in Barrow County.

The visit to the Stepan Company, a renowned surfactant manufacturer, facilitated an open dialogue with Plant Manager Bobby Poage, exploring the company's current landscape of challenges, opportunities, and successes. This dialogue underscores the B-LIST's mission to understand and support the unique needs and achievements of local industries.


Comprising a dynamic team of professionals, the B-LIST includes:

  • Andrew Carnes from Georgia Power Economic Development as the Regional Economic Development Manager

  • Tino Johnson with Jackson EMC

  • Dylan Horne & Robert Herring of the Metro Atlanta Chamber

  • Kathryn Lookofsky, MPA, CMSM, from WorkSource Northeast Georgia as Regional Coordinator

  • Pam Griffin as the Economic Development Coordinator from Lanier Technical College's Barrow Campus

  • Dr. Jennifer Wood from the SIMS Academy and Barrow County School System, leading as CEO and CTAE Director

  • Brandon Lounsbury from the Georgia Department of Economic Development as Project Manager

  • Chip Reynolds, the Campus Dean at Lanier Technical College - Barrow,

  • Ben McDaniel, the Economic Development Director of Barrow County


This pioneering visit heralds the start of many engagements planned by the B-LIST in Barrow County, aimed at creating a robust partnership between industries and the educational framework. Through these collaborative visits, the B-LIST seeks to pave the way for a sustainable economic future in Barrow County, enhancing workforce development and industry growth in tandem. This initiative not only highlights Barrow County's commitment to economic and educational synergy but also positions it as a leading example of industry-academia collaboration for regional development.

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