BUTLER, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Residents of Taylor County are ready to go to work, the problem is, there's no work to be found. "You drive 50 or 60 miles for a job or you don't work," says Cynthia Jones of Butler.
That's why the county decided to spend more than $500,000 on a speculation building back in 1997.
"This spec building would land a potential prospect that would be able to create a vast number of jobs for the people of this county," says Commissioner Patty Bentley, Taylor County.
Now, 15 years later, and it's still 50,000 square feet of empty space. Local leaders are confident that's all about to change.
"We have rail. We have four lane highways. We have an airport," says Butler Mayor Harold Heath.
A new 5,000 foot runway, and the other two types of transportation are right near the Taylor County Industrial Park and the speculative building. Now leaders are using those resources, and their location to attract industry.
"We sit right in the middle of two of the largest military installations that are constantly hiring people of this nature," says Mayor Heath.
Mayor Heath says they're switching gears, and training the workforce in the automotive industry, and it seems to be working.
"We've got a lot of looks from the automotive industry," says Patricia Brunson, Executive Director of the Taylor County Development Authority.
Brunson says they're close to closing in on a potential company to move into this space, and the next step is bringing the residents on board.
"We're forever working on our workforce, and trying to get it built up to where it needs to be," says Brunson.
That's mean being Georgia Work Ready certified.
"We just need our data to reflect that we have a skilled workforce here in the county," says Bentley.
Bentley believes if the prospective employers can see the proof, they'll help this county get back on the map.