The University of Georgia Archway Partnership has announced Candler County as the newest community to partner with UGA and the University System of Georgia to enhance local community economic development.

“Metter-Candler County has progressive visionary leadership, a key ingredient to a successful Archway program. I commend community leaders for their unified effort and involvement in this process,” said Archway Director Mel Garber.

Founded in 2005, the Archway Partnership, a unit of UGA’s Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, is an initiative to strengthen the university’s land-grant mission that takes a grassroots approach to meeting locally identified community economic development needs. It creates portal counties through which the university, with its teaching, research and service missions, can address community-driven issues. Since its inception, the Archway Partnership worked with 10 communities. Candler County is the 11th community to form an Archway Partnership.

“Community leaders in Candler County have demonstrated their strong commitment to working together on community and economic development needs,” said Sue Chapman, Archway Partnership operations coordinator. “We are excited about building upon that commitment through the Archway Partnership to prioritize community challenges and opportunities that can be linked to higher education resources.”

In an Archway Partnership, the community drives the priority need process through an executive committee and steering committee made up of local citizens and community leaders. Candler County residents will have the opportunity to participate in community listening sessions and town hall meetings. Once priorities have been identified, the partnership will facilitate access to UGA faculty and students with the appropriate expertise.

“We are delighted to establish a formal relationship with Candler County through the Archway Partnership,” said Jennifer Frum, vice president for public service and outreach. “Through Archway, the community will have full access to university resources, and in turn, faculty and students will gain important first-hand understanding of critical community and economic development issues.”

For additional information about the Archway Partnership, see