Mississippi manufacturers face growing pressure from a number of sources, including offshore competition, lawsuit abuse and workforce training budgets stretched thin.
The long-term viability of this economic sector is often called into question. While the low-tech manufacturing jobs of the past, apparel cut-and-sew, for example, are gone, high-tech and high-wage jobs have a bright future.
Mississippi business and economic development is committed to bringing more jobs and new companies to the state, as well as investing in the companies already here — hard at work in communities around the state.
So, it was good to see the Legislature approve a $31.5-million incentive package last week for one of the state’s best homegrown business success stories, Howard Industries in Laurel.
The package will help Howard expand and add 2,000 jobs to a company that already has 3,500 Mississippians on its payroll.
The challenges that confront so many Mississippi manufacturers are also at work against other businesses in the state. These issues could have been taken up during the July 30th special session, but they weren’t.
That’s disappointing, but at least the Legislature got the Howard Industries part of it right.