ATLANTA — The state’s labor department delivered a check for $25,000 to southwest Georgia officials on Wednesday. It’s meant to boost business marketing.
The region has been hit by job losses due to the recession. The money is an economic development grant and allows local officials to try to lure new business. State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond:
"Former Speaker Tom Murphy once said at the local level local leaders can do more with $5,000 than we can do with $5 million at the state level. We’ve had some success in north Georgia, and we hope to replicate that in southwest Georgia as well”.
Recently, Lumpkin County officials used a similar grant to attract a buyer for a former textile plant. Now, Albany officials hope to strike similar gold.
Albany state representative Winfred Dukes says the city is hoping to fill a plant left vacant after Cooper Tire pulled-up stakes.
"We have always worked diligently to try to have a diverse group of industries to come into our community, so we could have a mix that was not so one-dominated. We’ve always been grateful for that”.
Dukes says the exit of Cooper Tire has been a tough blow, leaving almost 2,000 people without jobs.