Led by Gov. Phil Bryant, Mississippi's aggressive efforts to create jobs and attract new investment produced significant results, with 2013 more than doubling the jobs and investment generated in the state in the previous year.
Projects supported by Mississippi Development Authority over the past year created 6,265 new jobs for the state's workers and more than $1.03 billion in new investment. In 2012, state-assisted projects accounted for 2,664 new jobs and $455,560,000 in new investment.
"Since taking office, I have made improving Mississippi's economy a top priority. That includes building a pro-business environment, attracting new investments and working to grow existing businesses. Our hard work is paying off. This year has proven to be a strong year for economic development in Mississippi, and it shows that our economy is gaining strength and that Mississippi has created one of the top locations in the country for business -- something that local, national and international companies are noticing and acting upon," Gov. Phil Bryant said.
"I am grateful to the team at MDA for helping Mississippi attract a long list of new business in the last year, while also assisting the state's existing businesses expand their operations," Gov. Bryant said. "This is only the beginning for Mississippi; we are committed to making sure 2014 is another successful year for economic development and job creation in the state."
In 2013, the state's automotive industry saw significant growth with several new high-profile announcements and expansions. In April, executives from Yokohama Tire Corporation announced the company would locate a commercial truck tire plant in West Point. This project will initially create 500 new jobs and $300 million in new investment. Future potential expansions are expected to increase employment at the facility to 2,000 and increase the corporate investment to more than $1 billion. The project progressed quickly, with a groundbreaking ceremony held at the site in September.
In July, Nissan announced and broke ground on its first North American Supplier Park in Canton, a $50 million investment that supports 800 new jobs for the area's workforce. Germany-based Feuer Powertrain GmbH announced in September it would locate a $140 million crankshaft manufacturing facility in Tunica, a project that will create 300 new jobs. In November, Toyota Boshoku Mississippi announced an expansion at its Mantachie facility to increase its component production for the new Corolla and another regional equipment manufacturer. That project included a $21 million corporate investment and created 180 new jobs.
2013's first announcement came in January from existing Mississippi aerospace corporate partner Aurora Flight Sciences, as the company announced it would build a 30,000-square-foot facility at the Golden Triangle Regional Airport in Columbus. Aurora Flight Sciences is investing $17 million and creating 250 jobs. Also in 2013, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems announced an expansion at its Forest location to accommodate new contracts and anticipated future growth. The project creates 150 new jobs and represents a $100 million corporate investment.
"Strong leadership and direction from Gov. Bryant along with a growing economy and great teamwork at the local and state levels are largely responsible for our strong job creation and investment throughout the state in 2013," said MDA Executive Director Brent Christensen. "While the large manufacturing announcements are exciting and important in building our economy, the expansion projects announced by our existing businesses, both large and small, are critical to the overall health and diversity of Mississippi's business climate. Our goal is to continue down this road of successful growth in 2014."