By Associated Press - Sunday, September 15, 2019

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) - Georgia’s lieutenant governor is aiming to make the state the “technology capital” of the East Coast.

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan outlined his plans at the University of North Georgia’s recent Regional Education and Economic Development Summit, The Times of Gainesville reports .

Duncan said that all companies should be viewed as technology firms.

Georgia’s kindergarten through 12th grade education system is key to attracting new technology companies to the state, Duncan said.

“To become the technology capital of the East Coast, we’ve got to continue to make great strides, especially around K-12,” Duncan said. “We need to make sure that kids and communities understand the importance of educating and creating that next generation of talents because we need to create an ecosystem much like the film industry.”

He says he’s proud of the General Assembly’s initiatives to give Georgia teachers pay raises and calls that “a great step forward” in making education a priority.

More affordable health care and better access to it must also be priorities, he said.

“There’s no way to economically develop, if you don’t have quality health care that’s within arm’s reach of your community,” Duncan said.

The summit brought together economic development professionals, business and community leaders, state legislators and representatives, educators and students to showcase educational pathways and career opportunities in north Georgia, The Times reported.

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