The city of Valdosta has approved a $4.4 million bond measure to pay for a new career resource center. The new building will allow the Georgia Department of Labor to move all its Valdosta operations into one location.
By building the new career center, the city was able to select its downtown location, and city leaders say that choice will not only help the Department of Labor, but also the entire city of Valdosta.
Thousands of south Georgians will soon get career help here, the future home of the Georgia Department of Labor's Valdosta office.
"It certainly coordinates your services, we're better able to serve the customers when everybody is in the same building, and this facility will have a lot of room for employers to interview applicants, we'll have special area for that, we'll have large training rooms," says Susan Dukes of the Georgia Department of Labor.
Right now, the department has this small training room with only five computers. At the new location however, it will be expanded to more than 30 computers. Officials with the city of Valdosta are hoping the center's downtown location will help provide some needed economic development.
"This is bringing more employees into the downtown area, to support the wonderful business that we have and from that I'm sure you will see more businesses spring up," says Mara Register of Valdosta Community Development.
The city will actually own the building, and will lease it to the Department of Labor for at least 20 years to cover the construction cost.
"So, at the end of the lease, the department of labor will have an opportunity to purchase the property at fair market value, or the city now has a building that's free of debt that they could sell."
The city sees this as a great investment, for the downtown area that will not cost taxpayers a dime. Officials think the move will benefit the people who rely on the department of labor because of the central location. More people will have access to the center, and its expanded programs should help more people find work.