Dr. Anthony O. Parker

The Albany Dougherty Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is fortunate to provide essential services that impact the entire United States. We repair and remanufacture equipment for the U.S. Marine Corps. We manufacture paper products, brew beer, and process food. We grow and harvest pine trees, then convert the raw material to paper and lumber. We grow peanuts, pecans, and other food products as well. Fortunately, the demand for the products and services that we produce does not decline substantially during economic downturns.

The equipment repaired by the Maintenance Depot of the Marine Corps Logistics Command creates more than 3,000 jobs for the Department of Defense and civilian contractors. Over 500 jobs in paper manufacturing depend on the trees that grow in Southwest Georgia.  Beer brewed in Dougherty County depends on aluminum cans, glass bottles, and chemicals that come from outside our region of Georgia. 

Manufacturing, food processing, and brewing in Southwest Georgia depend on trucking and diesel technology to transport raw materials to their locations. The Department of Defense must transport military equipment to Albany for repair and to be remanufactured. After the manufacturing process is completed; paper towels, toilet paper, beer, and food products must be transported to regional distribution centers.  Military equipment must be moved to prepositioned locations for the Marine Corps warfighters. Soon, Georgia Pacific will be added to the list of essential manufacturers located in the Albany / Dougherty MSA.      

On the consumption side of the equation, we’re driving less. It’s increasingly more likely that we will receive a purchase through Amazon, UPS, or FedEx. We are less likely to drive to a big-box retailer or grocery store. Subsequently, those who deliver goods and services are driving more.  Items that we consume regularity are more likely to be delivered to us when compared to the pre COVID-19 pandemic.  Service vehicles used to install commercial, educational, and personal cable Wi-Fi communications are being driven more. Electrical contractors and air conditioning technicians still must travel to the equipment to be serviced or to the location of the installation. As personal vehicles travel less, commercial vehicles travel more. As we experience declines at point of sales at big-box retailers, we experience increases in sales through E-Commerce.

In short, I predict an increase in the demand for CDL drivers, local delivery drivers, automotive technicians, diesel technicians, and auto collision specialists. As our consumption patterns change, we rely more on transportation, the logistics industry and E-Commerce. This is a great time to consider a new well-paying career.