Venco set to break ground after final OK

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 31, 2004

NATCHEZ &045; Venco will break ground Monday on its new metal fabrication facility at the Adams County Port.

The Baton Rouge based business received final approval from the Mississippi Development Authority Thursday for the project, which will eventually employ 50 people, said Natchez-Adams County Economic Development Director Mike Ferdinand. Venco will produce fabricated components for the oil and gas industry, environmental controls businesses and related allied industries.

Venco co-owner Gary Ventrella said he is looking forward to doing business in Natchez.

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&uot;Natchez has a great business climate,&uot; he said. &uot;It’s really friendly to businesses.&uot;

Ventrella said he hopes the facility will be open by spring 2005.

Why Natchez? Ventrella said a number of factors led the company to the community, including the assistance of the county and state economic development officials.

The proximity to the Mississippi River, the design and infrastructure at the port and the available labor force were also important factors, he said.

The EDA and Venco have been working on the project for about 18 months.

&uot;This is one of the first signs of economic turnaround for Adams County,&uot; Adams County Supervisors President Darryl Grennell said. &uot;The new job creation will be a welcome relief and a chance to send our skilled labor back to work.&uot;

Natchez has suffered hundreds of job losses in manufacturing over the past few years, most significantly with the closing of the International Paper mill last year.

&uot;We welcome Venco to our community and look forward to a long-term working relationship,&uot; EDA Chairman Woody Allen said.

Allen commended state officials including Gov. Haley Barbour, legislators and the MDA, as well as Southwest Mississippi Planning and Development, Entergy and the board of supervisors for working together on the project.