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Manufacturer to invest $4 million, create 30 jobs in Brookhaven

 

MBJ Staff

Keystone Electrical Manufacturing Co. is expanding to Brookhaven, investing $4 million and creating 30 jobs, with hiring to start the first week of March.

Headquartered in Des Moines, Ia., Keystone manufactures protection and control relay panels, medium voltage switchgear and turnkey control centers used in the generation, transmission and distribution of electric power. The company is purchasing the 54,000-square-foot Agracel building located in the Linbrook Business Park.

Keystone President Fred Buie said in an interview that he bought Keystone in Sept. 1998 from Bill Milliman, who founded the company in 1964, according to Buie. There are approximately 90 employees in Des Moines, Buie said.

Most of the hires in Brookhaven will be production workers, whose pay will start at $15 an hour, Buie said. Other positions will be engineers and the like.

“Keystone is very pleased to be expanding to Brookhaven. The work force, operating costs and proximity to customers were key factors in our decision,” Buie said in a news release. “All the agencies involved were very responsive and had the information we needed at their fingertips. Additionally, the opportunity to bring jobs and investments to my hometown is very special. It was an easy decision.”

Buie is a graduate of Brookhaven High School and Mississippi State University. Although his professional career has kept him outside of Mississippi, he has maintained a close connection with the state as a long-time member of MSU’s Industrial Engineering Advisory Board, and he was recently named to the Foundation Board. He also maintains a second home in Brookhaven and is a local timber farmer.

The Mississippi Development Authority is providing a $300,000 grant for building improvements. The Brookhaven Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, Cooperative Energy, Southwest Mississippi Electric Power Association and the Copiah-Lincoln Community College Workforce Development Center also are assisting with the project.

“MDA is pleased to support Keystone as it prepares to begin operations in Brookhaven,” said MDA Deputy Director Mike McGrevey. “The collaboration of all parties involved in bringing Keystone to our great state is building a stronger community and economy by securing this economic development win for the people of Brookhaven and Lincoln County.”

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About Jack Weatherly