With an unemployment rate of more than 11% and thousands looking for work, Jackson County is hurting. The Governor hopes the stimulus package will be the perfect remedy.
"It's not going to be enough, but it's a step," she said.
The Governor believes nearly 8,000 jobs can be created or saved in the Jackson County area, many of which will be in construction -- an industry with an unemployment rate hovering around 40%. There's also some stimulus money to create other jobs in Jackson...
"Especially for those who are interested in being retrained in areas that are growing like the environment, renewable energy, or in health-care. This is an opportunity for people, while they're on unemployment, to go back and get retrained for jobs that do exist."
County leaders believe this could be the beginning of economic recovery. They expect a trickle down effect to create more work, and keep money flowing.
"It doesn't just come in once. It rotates, flows through the community," said County Controller Randy Treacher. "Somebody gets a paycheck and buys groceries. The grocer then buys something at the hardware store. So it generally circulates 5 or 6 times."
The challenge now shifts to making sure that money stays in Michigan. Congressman Mark Schauer is asking Michigan lawmakers and MDOT to make sure Michigan companies are hired for these projects.
"These are difficult times and they have to remove any administrative hurdles that would make it difficult for Michigan companies," Rep. Schauer said. "I want Michigan workers to be able to benefit from these dollars coming to Michigan."
The money should start coming into Jackson within the next few weeks.