The highest unemployment rates in Tennessee are in smaller counties with little or no industry.
Bledsoe county's jobless rate jumped to almost 13% in the last two years after the state moves to shutdown the 70 year old Taft Youth Center.
Now, the economy is beginning to turn around thanks to new jobs at another correctional facility.
The Taft Youth Development Center had been the major employer in Bledsoe county since the early 20th century..but the main building went up in 1942.
Sometimes four generations of a family worked there.
But the state closed Taft last year....putting a couple hundred people out of work..and sending some into early retirement.
ROBERT (COACH) WORTHINGTON, 38 YEAR TAFT EMPLOYEE "A lot of them just got out and left..they didn't feel like they wanted to deal with inmates. Their job was called to be with juveniles."
Worthington said the closing was especially hard for the young men who got education and and special attention at Taft.
But now, the same state government that took the jobs away has brought 400 of them back with the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex completed last december.
And this week, the announcement that 40 more jobs will come with a 500 bed expansion in the next few months.
You might think that would more and revitalize the county economy.
MAYOR BOBBY COLLIER, BLEDSOE COUNTY "We're still at a deficit..as far as jobs. According to statistics..workforce statistics..you know, 52%..and this was prior to Taft closing...52% of our workforce ..Goes out of county to work."
The new prison cost 208-million dollars and now 30-million more will be spent there.
MAYOR PHILLIP CAGLE, PIKEVILLE "They're hiring pretty heavily out there. And you know, most local people that's got the background ...That they qualify..they're getting hired."
But, local officials point out, some of those new jobs went to workers from other counties in a 50-mile radius.
MAYOR PHILLIP CAGLE "Hopefully its going to come about that we're going to have jobs ..Create some new jobs other than the prison...but without the prison, I'll tell you we'd be in hurt."
Mayor Cagle says there's now a discussion underway of putting young women in detention at the old Taft Center.
The two prisons would house more than 3000 inmates.