40 Georgians, South Carolinians appeal to Capitol Hill for economic boost

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- A group of Georgia and South Carolina business leaders wants the federal government to do more for local communities. 40 Chamber of Commerce members from the two states are mixing it up with the top brass in our nation’s capital. They say these personal meet-and-greets pump up the economy.

“We certainly want to make sure that we’re innovative every year when we come up here,” said Sue Parr, president and CEO of the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce.

She says this is their 25th annual trip to D.C., meeting power players in an effort to bring in funding for everything from education to nuclear waste cleanup at the Savannah River Site.

But these meetings cannot sway the courts system. A federal appeals court just halted construction of a multi-billion dollar weapons-grade plutonium-recycling project at the Mixed Oxide (MOX) facility.

“(There is) a lot of debate on the MOX facility, you know the cost of it and what it’s long-term mission could ultimately be. But we’re hopeful,” said Parr.

Parr and the group are more optimistic about their meetings regarding manufacturing in the area. Brandock Haddock, director of communications at Textron Specialized Vehicles says he is looking for federal help preparing students for high-skilled jobs from a young age.

“We need to make sure that we have an engaged, highly trained and skilled workforce to support that growth and future growth,” said Haddock.

Those in the business of protecting this country made the trip, thanking Capitol Hill for its investment in Ft. Gordon’s cyber mission and asking for more.

“It is a blessing of growth and we understand how much works goes (on) up here politically and we appreciate it,” said Thomas J. Clark, executive director of the Alliance for Fort Gordon.

Thursday is the group’s final day of meetings in D.C.