The Southeast Georgia Regional Development Center originated as the Slash Pine Area Planning and Development Center in May of 1963 when leaders from across Southeast Georgia came together to share
common concerns and needs for their communities. The birth of the agency was part of the multi-county concept that was gaining popularity not only statewide, but nationally as well.
Originally, the Slash Pine APDC consisted of Atkinson, Bacon, Ben Hill, Brantley, Charlton, Clinch, Coffee, Pierce, and Ware; however, Ben Hill County was later reassigned to another APDC. In 1975, the Slash Pine
APDC changed its name to the more descriptive "Southeast Georgia" APDC.
The major responsibility of the organization throughout its history has been to provide technical assistance
to local governments. While this responsibility has not varied over the years, the emphasis of that technical assistance has shifted to be responsive to the increasingly sophisticated demands by citizens and
expanding state and federal regulations and mandates.
In 1989, sweeping growth Strategies Legislation was passed by the Georgia General Assembly and APDCs were replaced by Regional Development
Centers. This legislation initiated specific requirements for planning and coordination.
The Southeast Georgia RDC region was modified on July 1, 2003, to include Berrien County and its four
municipalities. The region change, requested by Berrien County and its county seat, was approved by both the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Board and the State Legislature in early 2003.
The Southeast Georgia Regional Development Center serves as the Economic Development District on behalf of area local governments and has done so since its early days as an APDC. This designation
is granted by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to promote economic development in the nine-county area.
The RDC offers a myriad of services to local governments in the areas of
economic development, aging, workforce development, comprehensive planning, transportation, historic preservation planning, community development, grant writing and administration, and GIS.
The rural, southeast Georgia region encompasses 4,990.1 square miles and, within this area, nine counties and twenty-three cities are home to 154,268 people, according to the 2000 Census.