Come April or May of this year, more than 2,000 inmates and close to 600 new jobs will be present in Centre County.
"It's going to add stability to the employment market," Centre County resident Charles Lee said. "I hate to see that at the expense of the other counties or the other communities where the prisons are closing, but we think it's a good thing for Centre County."
Lee says the addition of these new jobs will be a good thing for not just local businesses, but for other economic entities, too.
"I think first housing is going to be affected, then retail. I think your building is going to go up," Lee said. "I think it's just a plus all the way around. Grocery stores are going to be busier, you're going to have more people buying gas and I think you're going to find it a beneficial thing for Centre County."
Centre County has the lowest unemployment rate in the state, but Ted McDowell says there is still a need for jobs in the area.
"I think some of that is masked in some underemployment challenges we have," he said. "People are taking jobs that aren't within their skill sets. Hopefully these new jobs will enable people to move on to better family-sustaining jobs."
And even though SCI Benner will bring the total number of prisons in Centre County to three, Lee says it's not a bad thing.
"We're used to prisons here in Centre County with Rockview and I think, so far, so good," he said. "We can't complain about it and it's a part of society."
The annual operating cost for SCI Benner is expected to reach close to $60 million per year, but officials say the closings of those two Cambria County prisons will ultimately save taxpayers $35 million per year.