Fifty future correctional officers wrapped up basic training in the East Georgia town of Millen. Local officials say the new jobs are expected to cut a 17 percent unemployment rate.
Since the recession began Jenkins County has consistently been in the top five Georgia counties for unemployment. A new private prison, owned by the Corrections Corporation of America, has already hired 100 people and will double that number by the time the facility opens this spring.
Millen Mayor King Rocker says they’ve been working on the project more than four years and he’s relieved.
“There’s not quite as much gloom. I think people kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel, and we really look forward to the next year or so to see how things do turn around.”
Rocker says another company is coming. Carbo Ceramics is waiting for state air and water permits to build a $250 million dollar plant in Millen to make materials used to extract underground natural gas.