AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Governor Brian Kemp’s first visit to the Georgia Cyber Center came with positive news for the state’s economic development. He told local leaders the growing cyber industry centralized in Augusta plays a role in Georgia’s recent high ranking for business.

“This is exactly what Governor Deal had in mind with he funded this project,” Gov. Kemp told the crowd promising to do all that he could to help the Georgia Cyber Center.

This is just one more time that Augusta’s investment in cyber translates to an economic win for the Peach State.

“Georgia is again the number one state for business for the seventh year in a row,” he touted.

The magazine Site Selection details the rankings, giving the Peach state a slight, two point, edge over North Carolina.

South Carolina tied for fifth with Virginia.

Gov. Kemp told local leaders the state added 29,000 new jobs from more than 300 projects, helping the state’s record breaking employment numbers and low unemployment. The news comes on the heels of Augusta adding 80 more jobs to the fourth floor of the Georgia Cyber Center.

“It was just August when we announced that Parsons was going to create 26 jobs in this building here to help support cyber command at Fort Gordon,” said Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “In less than two months we’re back to announce that Parsons is going to significantly expand and add more to that already robust presence.”

Parsons will just be under 40,000 square foot by the end of 2020 according to one of its officials.

Kemp met with local leaders in a private meeting before the announcement. He plans to work more with the Georgia Cyber Center and others.

“[Because of] Folks like U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine and District Attorney Natalie Paine we will undermine organized crime and stop gang violence in our communities throughout Georgia,” the governor said.

He also talked about ending sex trafficking in the state and helping healthcare.

He said, “And together we will embrace the policies that enhance access to affordable health care.”

Photojournalist: Gary Hipps