Two more Georgia counties have earned UGA’s Connected Resilient Community designation after working alongside university experts to complete projects designed to make them more attractive to economic development.

Hart and Washington counties were awarded the CRC designation during the 2023 Public Service and Outreach Annual Awards Luncheon, held on Monday at the UGA Center for Continuing Education & Hotel.

“These communities are taking advantage of UGA resources and expertise to increase their potential to grow,” said Jennifer Frum, vice president for UGA Public Service and Outreach (PSO). “As the state’s land-grant and sea-grant university, one of the missions of the University of Georgia is to help counties and municipalities improve their opportunities for economic development.”

Hart County focused its resiliency efforts on workforce development, education and downtown revitalization with assistance from the UGA College of Engineering, College of Environment and Design, Lamar Dodd School of Art, and Institute of Government.

Washington County’s projects include infrastructure improvements, economic development and health care. Faculty and students from the College of Pharmacy, the College of Public Health and the College of Education lent their expertise to the county, completing a comprehensive review of health and well-being priorities.

The Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach launched the CRC program in late 2021, with support from the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. The program later benefitted from a generous gift to PSO from the UGA Foundation.

The first CRC designation was awarded to Thomson-McDuffie County during the 2022 PSO awards luncheon. Thomson was the pilot community for the new program. Hart, Washington and Newton counties, and the city of Thomaston were selected for the CRC program at that meeting. Newton County and Thomaston are working on their resiliency projects.

This year, Frum also announced four new communities for the CRC program: Appling and Grady counties, and the cities of Cartersville and Sylvester.

Selected communities, from those designated as Tier 1 and Tier 2 by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, must complete three resiliency-building projects over a period of 12 to 18 months. Communities are recognized for completing projects one and two and earn the CRC designation after completing the third project.

Learn more about the Connected Resilient Community initiative.

Contact: Michelle Elliott, 478-697-4522,