Thursday, May 9, 2013
Mississippi committed to growth
Mississippi has a trusted reputation for business, and companies around the world continue to take notice. Confidence in our skilled and dedicated workforce is helping to fuel needed job creation across the state. Despite a weak national economy, local successes and new partnerships reaffirm Mississippi’s potential for growth.
Major Investment in Clay County
Among these partnerships is Yokohama Tire Corporation, which recently announced it would build a tire manufacturing plant near West Point. The major investment, which could top $1 billion, promises to have a significant impact on the Golden Triangle region and the entire state. Some 500 new jobs are expected in the first year, and future expansions could boost that number to 2,000. Suppliers and other spin-off businesses offer additional possibilities for long-term economic growth.
The cooperation and persistence of Gov. Phil Bryant and leaders at the local, state, and national levels were instrumental in bringing a project of this magnitude to Mississippi. Their hard work and vision encouraged Yokohama to choose Clay County from more than 3,000 counties across the country. Like the investments by Nissan and Toyota, Yokohama’s decision speaks volumes about the strength of our manufacturing industry. For the Golden Triangle, it is a welcome addition that will make a real difference in getting high unemployment on the decline.
GE Aviation Chooses Ellisville
With a record of success, other companies have decided to expand their presence in Mississippi. GE Aviation recently opened a composites factory in Ellisville – a venture expected to create 250 jobs within the next five years. Since 2008, hundreds of Mississippians have contributed to the production of jet engines and composite components at GE Aviation’s plant in Batesville.
Supportive communities and advanced science and technology resources are among our state’s many assets. In Ellisville, GE Aviation is partnering with the Mississippi Polymer Institute at the University of Southern Mississippi and the Advanced Technology Center at Jones County Junior College to train employees in advanced manufacturing processes.
Sending the Right Message to Job Creators
Keeping the manufacturing sector strong is important to keeping the economy strong. Manufacturing supports millions of high-paying jobs across the country and produces $1.8 trillion in value each year. The output amounts to more than a tenth of America’s gross domestic product. In Mississippi, about 12 percent of the workforce is engaged in manufacturing, helping drive our local economy with billions of dollars in exports. A report released last month by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranked our state seventh for its work to facilitate and encourage export production and growth.
Our state continues to prove it can meet the needs of the world’s best companies. Pro-growth policies and a ready workforce are attractive to business and conducive to positive economic change in our communities. For global leaders and mom-and-pop stores alike, the message is clear: Mississippi is the place to be.
Washington should do more to send the same message to job creators. The threat of more taxes and additional regulation puts a wet blanket on hiring and expansion. Millions more Americans are ready to get back to work, and Mississippi has shown that productive partnerships can help make that happen. Our recent successes are only the beginning.
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