Cobb County, Ga. – The room fell silent as Dr. Kevin Murriel, senior pastor at Cascade United Methodist Church, began to give the blessing over the days gathering. Though many of Atlanta’s political, business, sports and tourism leaders were in attendance, all were churchgoers under the same religious flag: Atlanta.
The 163rd Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) meeting took place at the Coca-Cola Roxy Theater Thursday, November 17, 2022. The theme of this year’s meeting was Unleash Atlanta’s Ambition, but could have easily had the words retain and recruit talent in it. All of the speakers, including Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, Georgia Power President & CEO Chris Womack, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President & CEO Raphael Bostic and Metro Atlanta Chamber President & CEO Katie Kirkpatrick, made mention of the amount of talent in Atlanta. “One thing I’ve learned is that Atlanta business community is engaged and committed,” said Bostic, the 2022 MAC Chair, who moved to the city in 2017.
On job growth and opportunities for Atlantans, both new and old, Bostic added, “Atlanta needs everybody. We need to offer people the pathways that lead to skills and opportunities.”
The 2023 MAC Chair Paul Donahue, chairman & CEO, Genuine Parts Company, added, “Talent fuels our regions growth. We believe in meeting our teammates where they are providing the best training.” Genuine Parts Company has been in business in Atlanta for nearly 100 years, according to Donahue.
Womack, who will be the 2024 MAC Chair, also spoke about growing talent in Atlanta but also discussed how Georgia Power is partnering with schools all over the state to create a pipeline that is aware of the jobs of the future, which will most certainly include the engineering industry. “We believe that we must connect talent to the vibrant, diverse community of Atlanta and all that is has to offer,” he said. “We must continue to grow talent. We must continue to grow a vibrant workforce in our state.”
Atlanta having been awarded one of the host spots for the 2026 FIFA World Cup and being designated for the host city for the 2025 College Football Championship were mentioned one more than occasion during the proceedings as proof the city is top tier when it comes to sports.
“We have a legacy here in Atlanta. There is a special sauce here, it’s magical,” Kirkpatrick, the day’s final speaker, said. She would go on to mention that MAC supported 59 businesses for new headquarters in metro Atlanta. “Working together we have clearly positioned metro Atlanta is a top destination for businesses,” Kirkpatrick said.
The meeting ended with a three-minute video montage of Atlanta sites and sounds.