Yokohama tire plant to open in Clay County - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Yokohama tire plant to open in Clay County

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Three weeks after lawmakers left the capitol, ending the 2013 session, they were back at work Friday morning. That work was on a $130 million incentive package for a Yokohama Tire Company to open up shop in the Clay County town of West Point.

"We had an area already set up for a company to hit the ground and start shoveling dirt," said Democratic Representative Karl Gibbs of West Point.

Gibbs says the soon to be plant is a much needed addition. The plant, which will make industrial tires for trucks and tractors, is expected to invest $1.2 billion to an area he says is suffering.

"It's something we really need because the people in West Point are hurting because of the closure of a lot of factories in West Point," said Gibbs.

Those closures have helped give Clay County the highest unemployment rate in the state at just more than 18 percent. Gibbs says the plant will be providing about 2,000 jobs. The average salary will about $35,000.

"We will have jobs for the people of our area and to ensure them a better quality of life," said Gibbs.

"It means everything in the world. It's a game changer for clay county and west point," said Robbie Robinson with the LINK Executive Committee.

From a development standpoint, Robinson says impacts will be felt in surrounding counties as well as the state.

"This is just another component that shows that the Golden Triangle is really an area that is to be reckoned with when it comes to economic development,"a said Robinson.

Plant construction is set to begin in September and expected to be up and running by October 2015.

The incentive bill is being named after Gibbs' father, Representative David Gibbs and Senator Bennie Turner who both recently died.

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