Georgia News

8 Things you might not know about your State Captiol

State Capitol News

As you might already know, the State Capitol Building, located in downtown Atlanta, is the head office for Georgia’s state government. It houses the offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, the State Senate, and House of Representatives.

But here are some things you might not have known about the State Capitol Building:

1. Construction on the building began in 1885 and completed in 1889.
2. The building’s original designs were provided by the Chicago architectural firm of Edbrooke and Burnham, while construction was completed by the Toledo, Ohio, company of Miles and Horn.
3. To fund the building, the state appropriated one million dollars for the Capitol’s construction, and used all but $118 of that budget.
4. The outside of the building is covered with limestone from Indiana, but the inside consists of marble and granite originating from Georgia.
5. Atop the building is a statue known as “Miss Freedom,” which – at one point – used to be called “the Goddess of Liberty.” This 1,600 pound structure is 26-ft. tall, and is made of copper that has been painted white. Miss Freedom points West, towards the capitol’s entrance.
6. The Capitol’s Dome consisted of tin until 1959 when it was covered with gold leaf originating from Dahlonega, Ga.
7. On April 14, GBA will begin renovating the Capitol building west steps that will be completed by December. In recent years, ceiling plaster was added in both the North and South wings of the building.
8. Surprisingly, the building remained undamaged when tornadoes struck Atlanta in 2008.

The Georgia Building Authority (GBA) is responsible for all services associated with the management of 36 buildings and various facilities located in the Capitol Hill Complex in Atlanta, including the Georgia State Capitol building. GBA provides maintenance, renovations, housekeeping, landscaping, food service, event catering, recycling, parking, and building access services to state employees housed in GBA-managed facilities.


Governor’s Office of Workforce Development Joins Georgia Department of Economic Development

Georgia Logo News2

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) announced today that the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development (GOWD) has been repositioned under the umbrella of GDEcD as the new Workforce Division.  This streamlined structure is intended to ensure that the state’s workforce development efforts are aligned with the economic realities of the marketplace and what businesses need to succeed in Georgia.

“I am excited that the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development is now part of GDEcD – their resources and knowledgeable staff will only enhance our economic development portfolio,” said Chris Carr, Commissioner GDEcD. “By aligning these entities, the state gains an enhanced ability to attract new business and to ensure that existing industry continues to thrive in a business-friendly climate.”

As GDEcD works to bring new investment opportunities to our state and to support existing industry, a critical component of this mission is meeting the workforce needs of Georgia companies. The Workforce Division, formally GOWD, adds a workforce development team to Georgia’s economic development assets providing additional resources to new and existing companies in Georgia.

“This move to a streamlined structure highlights Governor Deal’s understanding that workforce issues are paramount to economic development in the state,” said Ben Hames, Georgia Department of Economic Development Deputy Commissioner, Workforce Division. “We are looking forward to having a seat at the table where we believe we will be able to contribute to the great work already being done by GDEcD to keep Georgia the No. 1 place in the nation to do business.”

Earlier this year, Governor Deal announced the creation of the Governor’s High Demand Career Initiative to bring together the leadership of GDEcD, the University System of Georgia, the Technical College System of Georgia and key business leaders across the state. With decision makers from each of these entities at one table, GDEcD will get a clear picture of what Georgia businesses need and pair them with existing assets and/or collectively tackle any gaps. The new Workforce Division will take the lead on this initiative in order to make sure the state’s economic development infrastructure is meeting the workforce needs of Georgia businesses. Governor Deal will kick off the initiative with a series of meetings in Atlanta, Dalton and Statesboro over the next two months. The first meeting will take place in Atlanta at the Georgia Tech Research Institute on April 15 from 8:30am – 11:30am. To learn more – visit

About GDEcD

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) plans, manages and mobilizes state resources to attract new business investment to Georgia, drive the expansion of existing industry and small business, locate new markets for Georgia products, inspire tourists to visit Georgia and promote the state as a top destination for arts events and film, music and digital entertainment projects. Visit and

State Agencies Support Distracted Driver Awareness Month

Distracted Driving (From left to right) Colonel Mark McDonough (DPS), Commissioner Rob Mikell (DDS) and Director Harris Blackwood (GOHS) pose for a photo.

Thousands of Department of Driver Services (DDS) customers are seeing a crucial message about the danger of texting and driving this month as they visit driver’s licensing and testing centers statewide.  DDS Commissioner Rob Mikell, Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Georgia Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) Director Harris Blackwood have partnered to display messages on center television screens in support of Distracted Driver Awareness Month.

The National Safety Council (NSC) promotes Distracted Driver Awareness Month to focus on the dangers of texting and driving and to ultimately reduce the number of crashes and lost lives.  It is estimated that almost 25 percent of car crashes involve cell phone use.  The agencies partnered to have this important message displayed on the Motor Vehicle Network (MVN) screens installed at 29 DDS’ locations throughout the state.  MVN provides customized information and entertainment to customers waiting to be served at no cost to the state.

“Not only can you damage your driving history with additional fines and points, but you may lose your life.” said Commissioner Mikell.   “I hope DDS customers will take this important message to heart and avoid any distractions while driving.”

Colonel McDonough reminds drivers to plan trips carefully to minimize distractions on the road.  “Anything that diverts your attention from your driving can lead to a traffic crash,” he said.  “Be alert while you travel.”

“Drivers engaged in cell phone conversations are cognitively distracted and can fail to see up to 50 percent of their driving environment including stop signs, pedestrians and red lights,” said Director Blackwood.

Distracted driving is a particular concern for Georgia’s newest drivers, and since July 1, 2010 legislation prohibits texting and all other cell phone use by drivers under the age of 18.  A separate distracted driving law prohibits any age driver from texting while operating a vehicle in Georgia.