Cobb Chamber strives to make county
magnet for lucrative industries
Cobb Chamber of Commerce
2022 | FACTBOOK 65
By Aleks Gilbert
The Cobb Chamber of Commerce is focused.
Having taken a look at the state of play, if the county’s premier
business organization has its way, Cobb will become a
hub for lucrative and cutting-edge industries:
• Biotech and healthcare
• Construction and trade
• Advanced manufacturing
“The emerging trend for each one is continuing to advance,
continuing to innovate,” said Sharon Mason, chamber president
It is the latest effort in a long history of advocacy for county
businesses and business leaders — those already established
and those yet to come.
The Cobb Chamber was founded in 1942 and now counts
some 2,600 members among its ranks.
“Our focus is balancing our economy,” Mason said, “and we
do that in a lot of different ways.”
Among them are: attract, recruit and retain quality jobs;
helping companies already located in Cobb grow; and advocating
on behalf of those companies, whether at the local,
state or federal level.
“Everything that we do as a chamber to advance our economy
is all tied back to our vision for Cobb to continue to be the
top place for business — from startups to major corporations
and everywhere in between.”
The Chamber’s SelectCobb initiative is focused on the recruitment
and retention of businesses.
“From our SelectCobb initiative, we actually have more
companies in the pandemic looking at Cobb County than we
ever have before,” Mason said.
Through the first seven months of this year, SelectCobb has
netted a record number of “wins” — that’s companies either
choosing to move to Cobb or to expand in Cobb.
“Collectively they represent nearly 3,000 high-quality jobs
they’re adding to the community,” Mason said.
Lately, chamber officials have been fixated on the workforce
pipeline, urging investment in education.
A recent chamber-led study laid out the road ahead. It
analyzed the current jobs market and predicted what it would
look like come 2026.
It found rapid growth in a handful of industries: healthcare,
engineering, construction and social work.
Among its other
findings were that,
between 2015 and
2019, Cobb’s working
population grew 2.5%,
its labor pool grew 3%
and its unemployment
rate dropped from
5.9% to 3.5%, said
Dana Johnson, the chamber’s chief operating officer.
As for information technology, the number of county jobs
in that industry have remained flat in recent years. The majority
of new jobs in the field are in financial technology and
cyber security, he said.
The chamber has also trumpeted the county’s success in
luring businesses’ headquarters. Among those businesses are
pizza giant Papa John’s and elevator giant Thyssenkrupp.
“Companies know that Cobb’s the place to be for their headquarters.
... Whenever you have a headquarters coming it’s
high quality jobs,” Mason said. It is across all different areas,
because you’re going to need your marketing, your accounting,
and all the different industries, and so it really provides
such a wide spectrum of job opportunities for our citizens.
“And then those organizations are then coming in and investing
in the community and adding to our tax digest, which
helps keep our taxes low and that’s a critical factor for continued
business and citizen success.”
BUSINESS & ECONOMIC DEV.
Employees: 30 employees
Accreditation: 5-Star Accredited Chamber
through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
A crowd of hundreds listens as champion boxer Evander Holyfield
shares stories during a “fireside chat” at the Cobb Chamber of
Commerce’s Marquee Monday event in July 2021.