Driving down Highway 441 from Dublin toward McRae, you might have seen a sign that reads, “Georgia's High Tech Corridor.” The signs also run from Perry to Brunswick on 341.
“I’ve always wondered what 'high tech' indicated to be the sign on the road,” Jim Joines said.
He lives right off 341 in Telfair County.
“I wouldn't consider us in this county to be high tech,” Joines said.
The signs went up about 15 years ago after Georgia legislators passed a resolution, but Telfair County Development Authority chair Herman Moore says they haven't done anything since.
“It’s a joke to them, probably,” Moore said. “It’s a joke. I see a High Tech Corridor, and you come through, what is high tech about us? We do good to struggle with what little bit we got.”
In Telfair, there are two big employers outside of agriculture. Moore says both are low-skill jobs.
“Our main industry is Husqvarna, which we're very appreciative of,” Moore said. “They've been excellent for our community and we got two prison systems which is excellent, but how high tech are either one of them?”
He says there may be no new high tech industry in Telfair now, but with training, his community could be ready. According to the state Department of Labor, in Telfair County, 8.1% of the eligible working population is unemployed. That's about three points higher than the state unemployment rate of 5.2%.
“We got people that want to work and are willing to work. I think that with our technical school support, I think we could try to handle it,” Moore said. “I’m not sure we could handle a large, but on a smaller scale.”
Right now, Moore has other big ideas of what would be best for his community.
“What industry we could possibly handle right now is a distribution center, something like that,” Moore said.
High tech or not, until new jobs come to town, Moore still wonders about the little green signs by the roadside.
“If it’s something that our community can take hope and bring something here, we're willing and ready to try it,” Moore said.
As for Joines, he sees them as a possibility for the future.
“Hopefully, it might be one day if a few industries decide to come here,” Joines said.
The High Tech Corridor on 441 runs through the following counties: Laurens, Dodge, Wheeler, and Telfair.
The High Tech Corridor on 341 runs through the following counties: Houston, Pulaski, Dodge, Telfair, Jeff Davis, Appling, Wayne, and Glynn.