Largest metro Atlanta southside development event convenes Thursday

The largest gathering of business, educational and government leaders on the southside of metro Atlanta will convene this week.

The 14th annual South Metro Development Outlook Conference will be Thursday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park, Ga. The conference is expected to draw more than 600 people for what is recognized as the largest development conference on the southside. The networking event is for industry experts, corporate executives, education officials, government leaders and elected officials interested in fostering growth in Clayton, Coweta, Douglas, Fayette, Henry, South Fulton and Spalding counties as well as the city of Atlanta.

The program is the brainchild of The Collaborative Firm, an Atlanta-based firm that specializes in land use planning, program management, community outreach and economic development.

“For the past several years, South Metro has emerged as a key catalyst and contributor to this growth,” says conference founder Michael Hightower; managing partner of The Collaborative Firm.

This year’s theme is “South Metro Soaring in ’16.” High on the attendees’ list of interest will be the projects planned around Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and the status of the Atlanta Aerotropolis Alliance. Sessions also will include an economic forecast for the southside; current economic expansion projects; identifying opportunities to attract and keep millennials; how governments and other entities can make better use of technology and how schools and colleges can help improve economic development in southside communities.

Conference cost is $75. For more information, log onto or call 404 684-7031.

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