Representatives from Corrections Corporation of America joined Millen city officials in addressing a packed high school gymnasium Monday.
The company is on a short list of bidders vying for the job of constructing and operating a new 1,000 bed state prison facility. Company officials say that if The Georgia Department of Corrections awards them the contract it could mean hundreds of full-time jobs for Jenkins County, where unemployment is the highest in the state.
With only weeks until the decision is announced CCA and city officials urged the crowd to call lawmakers and express their support.
Mayor King Rocker hopes the meeting will help rally support during this crucial time.
"Now was the time to do it. After they open the bid it’s over. We just wanted to do everything we could to put it in the forefront that we did support it, that we wanted it and that it would be a tremendous economic impact for our community."
Millen’s unemployment rate began to sky rocket two years ago when the first of 5 major manufacturing facilities closed. Now, with no industry left, employment has reached more than 20 percent.