The Gwinnett Chamber and Council for Quality Growth hosted Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson this morning for the annual State of the County Address, presented by Axis and HNTB. The program, held at 12 Stone Church in Lawrenceville, brought together business and community leaders to celebrate collective successes while learning the vision for Gwinnett’s future.
“To serve with intention is to be thoughtful, purposeful, and deliberate in the things that we do and to ensure today’s decisions build toward tomorrow’s solutions,” said Chairwoman Hendrickson. “We must lead with the knowledge of our past, act with the purpose of today, and strive for a future we can all be optimistic about.”
Hendrickson said that intentionality has been the reason Gwinnett has solidified itself as a proven leader in the region. From water testing and quality of life to public safety and a low unemployment rate, she said the County’s proven track record has forged public-private partnerships that are key to the County’s success.
“The choices of almost a million people — and more over the years — created Gwinnett’s steady past, its vibrant present and its promising future. And whether subconscious or not, every decision we make is guided by intention — the choice to proactively solve a problem,” Hendrickson said. “It’s the small, yet intentional acts of bravery, kindness and support that fuel the Gwinnett spirit. This is serving with intention.”
During her remarks, Hendrickson acknowledged the death of Gwinnett Corrections Officer Scott Riner by leading a moment of silence. Sadly, Riner was killed while arriving to work last December. Within days, Gwinnett Police identified and arrested the suspect in the case – due to quick actions and excellent investigative work. Here are more takeaways:
Gun Crimes Unit, Gwinnett Safe Communities Program
“Our police department is also leveraging technology to reduce and respond to gun violence. When a gun-related crime is committed in Gwinnett, our Gun Crimes Unit uses ballistic science to connect shell casings from scenes to guns possessed by suspects,” said Hendrickson.
That information is then entered into a national database to make connections with other crimes across the country.
Connections are also what has made the Gwinnett Safe Communities Program a success. The program allows police to work with community stakeholders to provide access to cameras, license plate readers and other technology.
Housing and a new homeless shelter
While access to affordable housing continues to challenge communities across the country, the County will do its part to make sure Gwinnett is a place where everyone thrives.
“Over the next few years, in partnership with the Gwinnett Housing Corporation and Gwinnett/Walton Habitat for Humanity, we will be able to provide 390 affordable low-income housing units,” said Hendrickson. “But the work doesn’t end there.”
A multi-family building in Lawrenceville will be converted into shelter units to serve adult men and couples with no children. Federal funds will be used for the shelter.
New name, new look for Gwinnett Transit
2023 kicked off with a new look and a name for Gwinnett Transit: Ride Gwinnett.
Hendrickson added, “Not only does it tell you what to do, this new name and look connects with Gwinnett County’s brand to show riders that they can expect the same great service they get from their County government in their local transit.”
Building a future with the Rowen Project
“Late last year, I joined federal, state and local partners to break ground on the Rowen knowledge community — another gleaming example of intentional collaboration that will unlock opportunity for Gwinnett and beyond,” Hendrickson said. “Built atop a portion of the land being supported by our Eastern Regional Infrastructure project — which is bringing water, sewer and trails to 8,500 acres in east Gwinnett — Rowen will be home to innovation in the agricultural, environmental and medical fields.”
Of the overall contractors, Rowen is prioritizing economic equity with a goal of 30% of the contractors being small, women- and minority-owned businesses.
The Gwinnett Chamber and Council for Quality Growth have cohosted this event for over 35 years, connecting business and community to foster growth for Metro Atlanta’s fastest-growing County.
“The Gwinnett Chamber champions business and works with government to preserve its best-in-class economic climate,” shared Nick Masino, President & CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber. “Under the leadership of Chairwoman Hendrickson, Gwinnett continues to define success, grow its economy, and maintain its position as a leading community in the region. We are grateful for her vision and the positive results that it has realized.”
Michael Paris, President & CEO of the Council for Quality Growth added, “We are excited about what Gwinnett continues to do in providing quality services and a strong sense of place which, in turn, attracts development into Metro Atlanta. And the Council appreciates the partnership with the Gwinnett Chamber on this event every year.”
The Gwinnett Chamber will continue fostering business-government relations this month with its next On Topic Luncheon featuring the State of the Region Address delivered by Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) Chairman Kerry Armstrong. To learn more and register to attend, visit www.gwinnettchamber.org/events.