Governor announces new jobs

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 24, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Southwest Mississippi will get 55 new jobs and $750,000 in grants as soon as possible, Gov. Ronnie Musgrove announced Friday morning at the Adams County Courthouse.

Tessenderlo/Davidson Chemicals, a Belgian chemical company, will locate in an existing facility in Natchez, creating 40 jobs, Musgrove said. But economic development officials would not say which building that will be.

Details on that project will be released early next week, said Mike Ferdinand, executive director for the Natchez-Adams County Economic Development Authority.

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In addition, CS Lumber of Jefferson County will expand, employing 15 more people to build crossties, Musgrove announced.

Neither Tessenderlo nor CS Lumber officials could be reached for comment Friday.

With International Paper’s announcement Thursday that it will close its Natchez mill, &uot;people are saying there has to be a silver lining. This is it,&uot; said Bob Rhorlack, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority, who accompanied Musgrove to Natchez.

While admitting that IP’s news overshadowed his own announcement, Musgrove said that &uot;these announcements are a show of faith by other companies.&uot;

Also, the area will receive $750,000 in grants, including:

4$300,000 in Community Development Block Grants for infrastructure to support new industries.

4$200,000 in workforce training and retraining funds. &uot;Our workers must be protected. They deserve whatever we can do to service them and their families,&uot; Musgrove said.

4$100,000 for an economic development marketing grant.

4$100,000 in Home grant funds to provide down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers.

4$50,000 to fund a study of southwest Mississippi’s economic development strengths and how they can best be marketed.

&uot;The check’s not ‘in the mail’ &045; the checks have already been cut,&uot; Musgrove told a crowd that filled the circuit courtroom and overflowed into the balcony.

Musgrove commended local residents for banding together to figure out ways to attract and retain jobs in a Miss-Lou hit hard by recession. He also pledged to give whatever he help he can to that effort.

&uot;You’re going to have me fighting to have jobs for our people &045; you deserve that,&uot; Musgrove said.