Located in eastern Georgia, Thomson-McDuffie County is set to become the University of Georgia’s (UGA) newest Archway Partnership community. It will join a roster of seven other active Archway Partnership communities around the state working to address community and economic development needs through a sustained partnership with the University of Georgia.

“The Archway Partnership gives us the unique opportunity to connect all our resources to move Thomson and McDuffie County forward, both socially and economically,” said Kenneth Usry, Mayor of Thomson.

The Archway Partnership, a unit of Public Service and Outreach at the University of Georgia, acts as a bridge between UGA’s resources and the locally identified challenges and opportunities facing communities in Georgia. Archway helps communities address those issues by collaboratively building a pipeline that gives them access to the knowledge, skills, research, and other resources available from the University.

“I’m very excited about the opportunities this brings us. Bringing in fresh ideas and perspectives on what we can do to improve the county as a whole, not just Thomson, Dearing, and the unincorporated areas included, is a huge opportunity,” said Sean Kelley, Mayor of Dearing.

Archway recently hosted two listening sessions to better understand the issues facing Thomson-McDuffie and will now work with the community to prioritize the most important areas. A University of Georgia faculty member called an “Archway Professional,” will be based in Thomson-McDuffie County and will serve as a connection point between the resources UGA, as well as other state institutions, can provide to help address community-identified needs.

“I am confident that with the vast resources provided by our partnership with the University of Georgia, we can identify and correct the issues that are keeping our community from reaching new heights. This promises to be an exciting and enlightening journey,” said Charlie Newton, Chairman of the McDuffie County Board of Commissioners.

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