Thursday, June 21, 2012
Teamwork lands Roxul
The accents were different.
One Marshall County official even asked an industrial leader from Denmark if he had learned to say y’all yet.
Everyone in the circle, after a group photo was taken, smiled and laughed.
It’s probably 4,700 miles from Hedehusene, Denmark, to Marshall County, Mississippi. But successful economic development knows no boundaries. Truth is, it’s a small world.
I received “official word” via e-mail late Wednesday afternoon, just before leaving the office for the day, that Roxul Inc. had selected a site at Chickasaw Trail Industrial Park in Marshall County for its first manufacturing facility in the United States. The announcement came from Gov. Phil Bryant and the Mississippi Development Authority.
The next morning, shortly after arriving at the office, Bill Mobley, executive director of the Marshall County Industrial Development Authority, called. He invited me to a meeting at 9 that morning involving Roxul and Marshall County officials. It was a “get-to-know-each-other” and planning session.
As a long-time community newspaper publisher, I’ve been a part of some big industrial development announcements – but none bigger than this one.
Bill opened with a welcome and then asked everyone to stand and introduce themselves. It was a unique combination of voices but suddenly there was a common bond. The camaraderie, between folks separated by the Atlantic Ocean, was moving forward.
Roxul Inc. is based in Canada and is a subsidiary of Rockwool International, based in Denmark. It is the world’s leading producer of stone wool, a fiber-based insulation made from natural stone and recycled material.
The global manufacturer could have picked any site for its first-ever plant in the U.S. Marshall County had stiff competition. But Roxul selected Marshall County.
That should make all of us proud.
“This is very exciting for us,” said Gordon Brown, vice president of Roxul Inc. in Ontario, Canada. “We’re going to enjoy it and we are all looking forward to it. We will be bringing a lot of jobs and money to the area.”
It’s an approximate $150 million investment in the northwest corner of Marshall County. It will mean 150 new jobs when the plant is up and running at full capacity.
And there’s no price tag on what it will do to further boost Marshall County’s image in Mississippi, in the United States and globally. We’re on the industrial recruitment radar – big-time.
Chickasaw Trail in Marshall County was picked based on the industrial park’s location (its proximity to markets in the South), its set-up and the good cooperation offered by the county and state.
And it’s our hope that the teamwork exhibited in landing Roxul will lead to even more industrial announcements down the road.
Economic development is a team sport. Winning will come if team members don’t care who gets the credit.
It was great to see the unity on display last week – by people from Denmark, to Canada, to Mississippi to Marshall County.
Let’s keep the momentum going.
Be positive. Be a part of the team.
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