By Carla Higgins
From the July/August 2012 issue
In late June, Gov. Phil Bryant and officials from Nissan North America announced a major expansion at the automobile manufacturer’s Canton, MS, plant. Nissan is adding the Nissan Sentra compact vehicle to the plant’s production line-up, and the addition of the Sentra, along with an increase in production capacity, will create 1,000 new jobs at the central Mississippi plant and bring Nissan’s total employment in Canton to more than 4,500 workers.
When businesses choose to locate or expand in Mississippi, the reasons most cited by site selectors and company executives are the state’s dedicated and productive workforce, its prime geographic location and proximity to key markets, and the willingness of state and local leaders to understand and meet the needs of businesses.These advantages are appealing to both new and existing businesses in a wide range of industry sectors, and the state has seen a number exciting location and expansion announcements in recent months.
“The addition of Sentra production is a testament to the high level of production quality at our Canton plant. The Canton team has proved it can compete and win on a global scale.” Bill Krueger, vice chairman of Nissan Americas, said.
The Canton facility currently produces the Altima, Armada SUV, Titan pickup truck and NV commercial van, and Nissan is preparing to start production of the Frontier pickup and Xterra SUV models in Canton this fall, as well, following an April 2011 announcement that the company would be moving production of these two models to Canton.
Also in late June, Rolls-Royce North America broke ground on its second jet engine test stand at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, MS. The project represents a company investment of approximately $50 million and will create 35 jobs.
Rolls-Royce North America opened its first outdoor jet engine testing facility at Stennis Space Center in 2007, and it was the company’s first outdoor jet engine test stand to be located outside the United Kingdom. The site is one of only three of its kind in the world and conducts specialist development engine tests on all current Rolls-Royce engine types.
Caterpillar officials recently announced the company is locating warehousing and logistics operations in a new 540,000-square-foot facility to be constructed in Corinth, MS. The new logistics center replaces various smaller distribution facilities the company currently operates in the area through short-term leases. Caterpillar also has remanufacturing operations in the Corinth area.
A fully-integrated transportation network allows businesses to take advantage of Mississippi’s choice location and contributes to the state’s speed-to-market potential. In addition to its major highways, Mississippi boasts 2,500 miles of railroad track, 80 airports and 15 ports, including ports on the Mississippi River and Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and two deep water ports on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.