Photo by Sue Watson
Bruce Day (right) shows some Parker products to Gov. Phil Bryant.
Parker expands in Holly Springs
Gov. Phil Bryant said Marshall County’s neighbor to the west may be getting “a little concerned about the competition.”
He was in Holly Springs Friday to help celebrate the expansion at Parker Hannifin. On his way, he stopped in neighboring DeSoto County.
“I told them how Marshall County is growing and what opportunities you have here – that Marshall County is the new DeSoto County.
“As I see the growth in Marshall County, it is so exciting.”
Bryant had just visited Marshall County in October for the grand opening of Rockfon in the Chickasaw Trail Industrial Park.
“It’s great to be back,” he said. “This county was once a rural area and not a lot of attention was paid to it. Now it’s all coming together for the good.”
He thanked Parker for making this investment in Holly Springs, Marshall County and Mississippi.
Bruce Day, business unit manager of Parker’s Engine Mobile Original Equipment Division and a native of Holly Springs, said “this is the center of manufacturing excellence for Parker’s filtration group.”
Day thanked the city, county, state and the Mississippi Development Authority for helping “to transform this operation.”
Governor Bryant said he had changed enough oil in his day to float a battleship.
“And I know that a good filtration system means everything,” he said. “This is a wonderful plant with wonderful people and what we’re doing today is building the future for Marshall County.
“Those students in school today won’t have to leave the county and state of their birth to find a job. This is about building the foundation for the next generation.
“Success breeds success. We’re talking to companies every day who want to know more about Marshall County.”
He said the state’s 4.9 percent unemployment is the lowest in Mississippi’s history.
And Bryant said there are 49,000 job openings in the state.
“We have jobs looking for people,” he said.
Plus, for the first time ever, 80 percent of Mississippi’s students are graduating from high school.
In closing his comments, Bryant thanked the Parker employees.
“I appreciate the team members here at this facility,” he said. “You are the ones who make this plant work.”
Day echoed those sentiments, saying, “I appreciate your efforts in making this journey successful. “This is a great team and they deserve the praise.”
Also speaking were Christy Owens, executive director of the Holly Springs Main Street Chamber; George Zinn, president of the Marshall County Board of Supervisors; Bill Stone, former state senator and manager of the Holly Springs Utility Department; and Kelvin Buck, mayor of Holly Springs.
Owens said the employess’ pride in their work drives Parker Hannifin.
And she thanked the company for being a “true community partner.”
“I really cannot thank Parker enough for all you do for our community,” Owens said.
Zinn said it was great seeing so many familiar faces employed at Parker.
“That’s a blessing,” he said.
He called economic development a “team effort” and said parts manufactured at Parker are in great demand all over the country.
“We thank you and we encourage your continued growth at this Holly Springs facility,” Zinn said. “We will continue to be your partner in the future.”
Stone also called Parker “a great community partner” and said it has always been a pleasure working with Day on various issues.
Mayor Buck told Governor Bryant, “We expect to see you about every month.”
“Things are well in the State of Mississippi, and Holly Springs’ and Marshall County’s future is looking bright,” Buck said, “and that’s because of partnerships like we are celebrating here today.”