Tag: MS

Alternative Energy Powers the New Economy

Locations across the country have made renewable energy central to their economic recovery strategies. The race is on to claim a leadership position in solar, wind, geothermal and biofuel generation and manufacturing.

Mississippi Corporate Moves

ATK Expanding Iuka Plant To Make Aero Composites

Alliant Techsystems, Inc. (ATK) is expanding its Iuka, MS facility to manufacture composite structures for next-generation commercial aircraft.

ATK will produce composite structures for these aircraft, as well as composite aircraft engine components, at its Iuka facility. The expansion is expected to retain the 176 jobs currently at the facility; the workforce will grow to a total of 800 employees in the next eight years.

“We welcome ATK’s decision to locate its composite airframe operations at the Tishomingo County facility,” Gov. Haley Barbour said. “ATK’s selection of its Mississippi site for these high-tech operations indicates the company’s confidence in Mississippi’s workforce and its ongoing commitment to doing business in the state.”

The state assisted ATK with funding for building infrastructure improvements.

“Expanding ATK’s presence in Mississippi with its talented workforce, strong university system, and pro-business environment is the right strategic move for our company,” said Dan Murphy, Chairman and CEO.

“We are delighted ATK has chosen to grow its composite manufacturing operations for commercial aircraft here in Mississippi,” said Gray Swoope, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority. “This further confirms Mississippi is a prime location for companies involved in advanced material-making processes for the aerospace industry.  ATK’s decision to locate these operations in Mississippi will provide a future for many of our college graduates in this field.”

ATK is a premier aerospace and defense company with more than 17,000 employees in 21 states. It is a leading manufacturer of composite components for military aircraft and satellites. ATK is the world’s largest ammunition manufacturer for military, law enforcement and commercial markets, and it is the largest producer of solid rocket motors for access to space and tactical weapons.

United Chair Adds Jobs at Bruce, MS Facility

United Chair, owned by Haworth Inc., will add at least 125 new jobs at its Bruce, MS, facility. The company’s Bruce plant currently employs approximately 180 people.

The new jobs at the Bruce facility, the result of a consolidation in North American operations for Haworth, will have an average wage rate of $13.44 per hour. 

Mississippi Development Authority has provided $500,000 to assist with infrastructure improvements at the Bruce plant. Also, the Appalachian Regional Commission has committed approximately $219,000 and the City of Bruce and Calhoun County have pledged approximately $115,000 for public infrastructure improvements.

“During these challenging economic times, companies face difficult decisions regarding where to focus production. This announcement clearly demonstrates Haworth’s confidence in Mississippi as the right place to do business,” said Gray Swoope, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority. “Recent decisions of companies like Cooper Tire, Holley Performance Products and now Haworth to not only retain their Mississippi facilities but to expand operations here and hire additional workers confirms the Momentum Mississippi legislation works for both new jobs and retention.”

As a global leader in the design and manufacture of office furniture and organic workspaces, Haworth products include raised access floors, moveable walls, seating, storage and wood casegoods. Family-owned and privately held, Haworth is headquartered in Holland, MI.

Handy Hardware Opens Distribution Center in Meridian

Handy Hardware, a member-owned hardware buying group, has opened a distribution center in Meridian, MS, that will employ more than 150 people at the center.

Handy invested about $20 million on the distribution facility, located in the Meridian I-20/59 Industrial Park by mid-2009. The  facility is part of its growth plan to serve members in the southeastern U. S.

“We are delighted Handy Hardware has decided to locate its new distribution center in Mississippi. We welcome this investment in the Lauderdale County area and the jobs this facility is expected to create,” Gov. Haley Barbour said.

“Handy Hardware’s expansion into Mississippi further confirms the state’s value as a key location for distribution,” Gov. Barbour added. “We appreciate the efforts of the company and our economic development partners in Meridian and Lauderdale County who worked to bring this facility to this area.”

Handy Hardware currently operates from a 560,000-square-foot distribution center in Houston, TX.

Handy Hardware is one of only five member-owned hardware buying groups in the country, and the cooperative currently serves more than 1,200 members in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

Mississippi Corporate Moves

Advanced Manufacturing Flocks to Mississippi

Mississippi is becoming a magnet for companies specializing in advanced manufacturing techniques that also are seeking centralized logistics operations. With low taxes and a low cost of doing business, the state also is an attractive choice for companies looking for ways to reduce operational costs. In April, G & G Steel, producer of some of the world's largest fabricated metal components, announced plans for a metal fabrication facility to be located in the Tri-State Commerce Park in Iuka, MS. The company will fabricate metal components for large-scale projects including bridges, locks and mining equipment at its new facility. The area's available workforce and access to major transportation networks were key factors in the decision to locate in Mississippi. Earlier this year, Handy Hardware, a member-owned hardware-buying group, announced the location of a distribution center in the Meridian I-20/59 Industrial Park. Handy plans to break ground on its new facility by the middle of this year. Once complete, the distribution center is expected to create more than 150 new jobs, representing a $20-million investment by the company. Other companies are expanding operations already located in Mississippi: Alliant Techsystems (ATK), is making preparations to manufacture composite structures for commercial aircraft applications at its Iuka, MS, facility. The company will produce composite stringers and frames, which are essential components of next-generation commercial aircrafts. The expansion is expected to retain 176 current jobs and increase the workforce to a total of 800 employees over the next eight years. Nissan North America, which has been manufacturing automobiles in Mississippi since 2003, currently is expanding its Canton, MS, plant as the company prepares to launch commercial vehicles (CV) in 2010. The facility will produce the NV2500 Concept, which is Nissan's first entry into the CV market in North America. The expansion represents a $118-million investment by Nissan North America. Mississippi also is home to a number of leading research centers dedicated to telecommunications, geospatial systems, aerospace and aviation, biotechnology and biodefense, polymers and more. From the University of Southern Mississippi's Polymer Institute to Mississippi State University's Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems, the state's universities and colleges are forming innovative partnerships with companies to provide the technology resources companies need to develop new products and new manufacturing capabilities.

Tylertown Site Shines for Kalencom

Kalencom, Inc. recently selected the former MultiCraft facility in Tylertown, MS to manufacture soft-good jewelry packaging and specialty-sewn products. Kalencom is a multi-faceted manufacturer made up of four divisions. The company's marketing distribution concentrates in the U.S., Canada, Caribbean, South and Central America and Europe. The customer base concentration varies with each division and ranges from manufacturing under contract for manufacturers and wholesalers, to manufacturing directly to distributors and retailers. Kalencom was founded in 1971. Both the corporate headquarters and main plant are located in New Orleans in a four-story, 60,000- square-foot facility. The company also utilizes five extensive manufacturing plant resources located in Asia, and additional sub-contracting facilities located both in the U.S. and overseas. Due to changes in world manufacturing costs, the company will shift some of overseas sewing to the Tylertown operation. Jeno and Monica Kalozdi, who have owned a farm in Walthall County since the late 1990's, are the owners of Kalencom, Inc. In addition to light sewing, the Tylertown operation will be used as a distribution center for baby layette products and other infant accessories that are sold through major retailers worldwide. The purchase agreement between the Kalozdi's and Walthall County was signed on December 15 and the company started hiring immediately. Kalencom expects the local operation to employ at least 20 and perhaps as many as 60 people, depending on economic conditions. Kalencom will retrofit the former wiring harness facility to meet the manufacturing and distribution needs of the company, creating an efficient distribution center with productive sewing stations. The Tylertown division will focus on increasing the company's market share of jewelry packaging and effectively reducing the distribution costs of the company's core infant products. The Walthall County Board of Supervisors purchased the former MultiCraft Facility shortly after the plant closed. The building has been shown to more than 45 prospects in the last five years ranging from small operations to those seeking to employ in excess of 300. The nearly 60,000-square-foot former MultiCraft facility is one of the more than 100 available buildings listed by Mississippi in the 40,000- to 80,000-square-foot range. Statewide, more than 400 buildings are vacant ranging in size from 1,000 square feet to more than 1,000,000 square feet. Communities compete for economic development projects and decisions on whether to consider a community are based on several criteria, such as interstate access, rail, and vicinity to a deep-water port and/or international airport.

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Mississippi Corporate Moves


Toyoda Gosei Set to Build in Batesville

In March, Toyoda Gosei North American Group announced plans to build a new automotive parts manufacturing plant in Batesville, MS. The facility will develop and produce interior and exterior plastic automotive components for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi, Inc. Toyoda Gosei will invest approximately $19 million into the new 103,300-square-foot plant, located on 14.27 acres of land just off of Interstate 55. The company plans to begin production and employ 120 workers by 2010. The Mississippi Development Authority's project team helped Toyoda Gosei narrow down the Batesville site from contenders in at least two other states. "The Mississippi Development Authority and Panola County Partnership have been a valuable resource for Toyoda Gosei as we begin building a positive relationship with the Batesville community," says Takashi Matsuura, president of Toyoda Gosei. "Both organizations also played a key role in introducing Toyoda Gosei to various incentive programs that include training for our future workforce." Toyoda Gosei currently has manufacturing operations in six states, in addition to headquarters in Japan, Belgium, Thailand, and Troy, MI. The corporation's worldwide employment numbers total more than 23,000 people throughout 16 countries.

Vuteq and Toyota Forge a Partnership

In 2009, Vuteq USA, Inc. plans to open a new manufacturing facility in New Albany, MS. The $31-million plant is expected to employ 130 people. Vuteq will provide Toyota with more than 50 injection-molded parts, as well as the assembly of the deckboard and various component parts. Vuteq will begin production next year to coincide with the start-up of Toyota's new Highlander SUV plant. An additional 500 workers are expected to be employed by Vuteq to work at the Toyota SUV facility. "Vuteq USA's decision to locate in New Albany further demonstrates Mississippi's commitment to partner with automotive suppliers to create a winning situation for the company, the community in which it will locate, and the state," says Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. "During the process of selecting sites, the overwhelming attribute of New Albany was its friendly and welcoming nature," says Vuteq Canada President Chris Spence, who will oversee the new facility.

Oxford Wins Over Winchester

In February, the Winchester Company of Olin, Inc., announced plans to relocate its military packaging operations to an existing facility in Oxford, MS. This $3-million investment is expected to create 100 new jobs. Formerly based in East Alton, IL, Winchester's packaging operations will utilize about 85,000 to 90,000 square feet in its existing Oxford facility. Plant equipment will be moved from Illinois to Mississippi, and a new firing range will be built. The company says relocating will involve only minor modifications to its Oxford facility. Gov. Haley Barbour credits Mississippi's development efforts for the successful relocation.

ADP Adds to Mississippi's Tech Cluster

Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP), a provider of business outsourcing solutions, recently opened a solutions center in Clinton, MS. The new facility provides business-to-business support as the company focuses on inbound calls to assist clients using ADP's payroll and human resources-related applications and automotive dealer-related products and services. Between January and June 2008, ADP hired 80 employees to work at the solutions center. This number is expected to grow to 1,000 employees over the next five-year period. "I am pleased that ADP has selected central Mississippi for its new solutions center," says Gov. Haley Barbour. "ADP joins the long list of other technology-driven companies that have located in our state, a trend which demonstrates the quality of Mississippi's workforce and the state's ability to attract industry leaders." "We are delighted to be opening a new ADP solutions center in the metro Jackson area," says Mike Martone, chief operating officer of ADP. "As an industry leader, we're committed to delivering world-class service that exceeds our clients' requirements and expectations. Outstanding associates are the key to that commitment. Our service philosophy extends to our associates who enjoy comprehensive benefits, ongoing training and professional development, providing the opportunity for personal and career growth." ADP joins other technology industries that have found success in the area. "Central Mississippi continues to be a fertile environment for attracting technology-driven industries," says Ross Tucker, director of the Greater Jackson Alliance. "Companies like ADP recognize the unlimited workforce population of the area, which includes graduates from both two- and four-year academic institutions. "Coupled with the exceptional quality of life, ADP will be able to attract professionals across the state and the nation. The Alliance welcomes ADP to one of the fastest-growing regions in Mississippi and looks forward to future endeavors," Tucker adds.

Insurance Company Expands in Jackson

In May, Mississippi's largest commercial property casualty insurer, The Travelers Companies, Inc., opened a new claim customer service center in Jackson, bringing 75 new jobs to the metro area and doubling Travelers' total employment in the state. The Travelers Claim Customer Service Center is located in the UBS building off Interstate 55, enabling Travelers to increase its accessibility to agents and customers while also ensuring business continuity. Customer service professionals employed at the center will answer toll-free claim reporting numbers, compile information from customers, and assign claims to claim handlers for further investigation and resolution. "We are pleased to expand our operations in Mississippi," says Jay Fishman, chairman and CEO of Travelers. "Travelers is continuing to write new business in the state, and this new claim office supports our strategy of locating claim professionals close to the customers and agents we serve."

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