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.