More economic development changes for the region: A new name is taking on some of the responsibilities associated with Georgia Northwestern Technical College as a player in economic development in Rome/Floyd County as well as the region. Stephanie Scearce joins GNTC as a proposal to move economic development duties from the Rome Floyd Chamber to what looks to city/county management. With Al Hodge retiring as the chamber’s president and chief executive officer, look for additional changes.
Media release: Georgia Northwestern Technical College has named Stephanie Scearce of Woodstock the new vice president of Economic Development. She will fill the role previous held by Pete McDonald, president of GNTC, and her first day will be Thursday, Nov. 1.
“GNTC is very pleased to announce the addition of Stephanie Scearce to the college executive team as vice president of Economic Development. Stephanie has many years of work experience in economic development in Northwest Georgia,” said McDonald. “She has had direct experience working with many of the companies in the region and understands the critical role of workforce development for business expansion. Stephanie will be a great asset to GNTC and continue her good work for Northwest Georgia.”
Scearce will be responsible for the implementation of all Technical College System of Georgia-sponsored initiatives to enhance the economy of the region. This includes providing support to the region’s community economic development enterprises and the development of locally initiated economic development programs such as customized employee training, short term career training and locally initiated continuing education programs.
She will be actively involved in the recruitment of new business and the expansion of existing businesses within the college’s nine-county service area and will serve as a local point of contact for Georgia Quick Start. Additionally, she will develop and maintain partnerships with area chambers of commerce, business leaders, local governments and community development leaders.
“I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity to join the GNTC family. The team possesses valuable knowledge and experience I plan to absorb in learning how best to deliver GNTC’s economic development initiatives,” said Scearce. “I’m overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness in welcoming me into the new role, and am looking forward to starting the next chapter with this fine organization.”
Prior to her new role, Scearce served as the regional project manager of the Georgia Department of Economic Development since 2015. In that position, she partnered with local communities and assisted companies with expansion needs to create new jobs in a 15-country region that includes GNTC’s service area. Scearce located 86 projects that helped create more than 4,100 new jobs and $938 million capital investment in Northwest Georgia.
From 2009-15, Scearce served as the executive director of the Fannin County Development Authority in Blue Ridge. Her role was to promote rural economic development in the county by creating jobs through product development, new industry recruitment and existing business expansion. Scearce helped to create 400 new jobs, $18.4 million in private investment and 2.4 million in community investment for Fannin County.
Additional economic development certifications Scearce received includes Georgia Certified Economic Developer through the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at UGA (2018), Tennessee Valley Rural Leadership Institute (2012), Georgia Tech Basic Economic Course (2009) and Georgia Academy Regional Economic and Leadership Development Course (2009).
Scearce earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Kennesaw State University and graduated with honors. She attended KSU through a scholarship with the Women’s Basketball Team. A star basketball player, Scearce was inducted into the Fannin County Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.