Source: Office of Gov. Haley Barbour press release
JACKSON – Despite continued challenges resulting from a still-weak national economy, the State of Mississippi’s efforts to create jobs and attract investment are yielding considerable results, Gov. Haley Barbour announced today. More than 5,000 jobs are being created by economic development projects that were announced in the first three quarters of 2010 and received assistance from the Mississippi Development Authority, the state’s lead economic development agency.
State-assisted business location and expansion projects announced this year represent corporate investments of more than $1.36 billion.
These job and investment figures only include economic development projects that received assistance from the State of Mississippi and which were actively supported by MDA; they are not the only jobs created by businesses in the state during this period.
“In 2008, when the national economy was in the throes of a recession, credit markets were tightened and many businesses were struggling, Mississippi certainly was not immune to these stark economic realities,” Gov. Barbour said. “While our state did see numerous economic development announcements last year, especially from existing businesses expanding their operations, we already have seen more jobs created and more investment committed to the state in announcements made in the first three quarters of 2010 than we saw in all of 2009.”
Business expansion announcements in 2010 have come from both large and small companies and from businesses across a wide range of sectors.
Several furniture companies have chosen to expand their operations, including Lane Furniture, which is adding more than 150 jobs in Lee County, Southern Motion, which is creating at least 200 jobs in Pontotoc, and Max Home LLC, Townhouse Home Furnishings and Jamco Furniture Industries, which together are creating 125 new jobs.
Chicken processor DG Foods is adding 200 new jobs at its Copiah County facility. Outdoor power equipment producer MTD is adding 107 jobs at its Tupelo operations, and global automotive supplier BorgWarner is creating 120 new jobs in Yalobusha County.
“I am very proud of the MDA team. Our staff has been working hard to create new jobs in a very difficult economy,” said Gray Swoope, MDA executive director. “Our agency’s refocused attention on our state’s existing businesses and the judicious use of the state’s resources are key reasons why we are ahead in new jobs announced in 2010. Mississippi is well-positioned for further job creation and investment as the economy rebounds.”
In addition to its work in supporting existing industry and business, Gov. Barbour and MDA remain focused on recruiting new business and investment to the state. These recruitment efforts have resulted in a number of new business location announcements this year that involve significant corporate investment and are creating thousands of jobs.
Four days into 2010, Wilh. Schulz GMBH, a high-tech German pipe manufacturer, announced it would be building a new advanced pipe manufacturing facility in Tunica County. The facility, which will be the company’s first North American manufacturing plant, is creating 500 jobs and represents a $300 million company investment. Dennen Steel is locating a manufacturing facility in Tishomingo County, and downstream steel processors New Process Steel and Mississippi Steel Processing announced locations in Columbus, where they will further process steel produced at Severstal’s steel mini mill. Severstal announced it is expanding its operations, as well, to double its crude steel production capacity.
The state has seen growth in the renewable energy production sector in 2010, as well, with announcements by Twin Creeks Technologies, a solar panel manufacturer, and KiOR, a biofuels producer, that they would be locating production facilities in the state. Twin Creeks’ new $175 million facility in Tate County will be the state’s first solar panel production plant and will create 512 jobs, and KiOR is locating five biofuel production facilities in rural communities around the state and will utilize Mississippi’s ample renewable resources in producing its renewable crude oil substitute. KiOR has selected Columbus, Newton and southwest Mississippi for its first three facilities and is creating 1,000 direct and indirect jobs and investing half a billion dollars in the state.
In July, San Jose, Calif.,-based Soladigm announced it was locating its first full-scale production facility in DeSoto County. The plant will produce the company’s highly energy-efficient dynamic glass, which changes from clear to tinted on demand.
Over the past few months, a number of companies, including Siemens, Fiskars, McKesson and Hamilton Beach Brands, have announced they are locating distribution operations in the state. Mississippi is now home to two Fortune 20 healthcare companies, Cardinal Health and McKesson, both of which have looked to the state for their distribution needs.