The Heart of Georgia Altamaha Regional Commission " HOGARC " is one of 12 regional commissions in Georgia established under H.B. 1216 (O.C.G.A. 50-8) in July, 2009. The HOGARC serves a 17-county region in south central and southeast Georgia, the same as its predecessor agency, the Heart of Georgia Altamaha Regional Development Center (Est. 1996). The region is a large, rural region of Georgia encompassing 17 counties, 63 cities, and approximately 6,904 square miles. There are no metropolitan areas within the region, although the current population is about 304,000 persons. The region does contain the Census designated micropolitan statistical areas of Dublin (Laurens and Johnson counties), Vidalia (Toombs and Montgomery counties), and Jesup (Wayne County). The basic mission of the Regional Commission is to provide professional advice and assistance to its member governments and the State of Georgia, and to encourage cooperation in the areas of comprehensive planning (land use, environmental, transportation, and other), community and economic development, historic preservation, local government administration and management, aging services, geographic information system services, workforce investment, and coordinated transportation. The goal is to assist in the planning and provision of efficient and effective services to improve the quality of life for citizens in the region’s counties, the Region, and for all of Georgia.