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Generation Next 2013: Matt West

Age: 32

Company: J T Turner Construction Co. Inc.

Title: Director of pre-construction

Top accomplishments

• Helping our company transition and thrive through hard work and diligence

• Working with our team to help bring Extreme Makeover to Savannah

• Surviving the Great Recession.

Top awards/accolades

• Leadership Savannah, Class of 2012-13

• Ameris Bank, Savannah Board of Directors

Top philanthropic leadership roles

• Wesley United Methodist Church Board of Trustees

• Habersham YMCA Board of Directors

• 200 Club of the Coastal Empire

 

 

Questions for BiS

 

1) As a proven local leader, please share your vision of Savannah’s future. What growth or challenge do you foresee...

 

…by the end of 2013?

 

With so many exciting projects on the drawing board for Savannah, 2013 can really give the local construction community a shot in the arm. We have the local talent to design & build these projects. I hope our community leaders make every effort to keep them home.

 

…by the year 2020?

 

2020 seems so far away, but so did 2000. It’s no secret that one of the biggest obstacles we have in attracting new industry to Savannah is the lack of skilled labor. We have the tools to improve our workforce through the Go Build Georgia, Quickstart, and numerous SCCPSS programs. I’m hopeful we can help utilize the local talent we already have to put folks back to work and attract new employers at the same time. As a community we have to help ourselves, and we’re making strides every day to break the “Oglethorpe Rule” as Dr. Joe Buck calls it.

 

 

 

 

…by the year 2030?

 

Before the Great Recession, economic forecasters targeted the Coastal Empire as one of the areas primed to grow with baby boomer retirees. If even a fraction of their prognostications come through, coupled with the “Mega Site” and other development, Savannah is going to be as vibrant and healthy as ever for years to come. We need to be good stewards of what we have and try to prepare for what’s ahead.

 

 

 

2) How will you do business differently in the coming year or decade?

 

More written notes & phone calls, less e-mails & text messages. Business is about people, not keyboards.

 

3) What technological or cultural advances are you looking forward to in the coming year or decade?

 

A self-filling coffee pot. Seriously, by the time I get a handle on technology, it’s usually outdated anyway.

 

 

4) What qualities or assets will distinguish Savannah and preserve/advance our local economy?

 

Savannah’s a beautiful place to live, and I think we’re all guilty of taking its beauty for granted sometimes. What really makes this place special though, is the people. I’m originally from Moultrie, GA and someone told me shortly after we moved here that there may be more people in Savannah than Moultrie, but it’s smaller. They were right, and that’s a good thing.

 

5) What economic drivers and business sectors promise the most growth in the next year or decade and why?

 

The easy answer is the harbor deepening and all the logistics growth opportunities associated with it. However, I’m really excited to see what comes from the growing local film industry. The State of Georgia has some great incentives for film production and those coupled with SCAD and Savannah’s backdrop make us an attractive place to set up shop for movie production.

 

 

6) What college degrees will be the most in-demand in the Savannah area and why?

 

There’s a reason Gulfstream recruits all over the country, and that JCB is helping set up employment programs – Savannah needs more technical college degrees & more skilled labor. There’s also a big exodus around the corner when the Baby Boomer generation retires and there’s not enough folks in line to fill the void.

 

7) What advice do you have for other Savannah leaders in the coming year or decade?

 

“Big Team, little Me”. Put yourselves aside and put the community first.

 

8) What innovation of yours do you hope will be remembered by future generations?

 

I can’t tell you. Patent Pending.

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