Engineering firm to sign agreement today to locate office, jobs in Natchez

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 14, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; Principals of an engineering firm are scheduled to sign an agreement this morning to locate in Natchez, Michael Ferdinand, executive director of the Economic Development Authority, confirmed Monday.

The opening of Michael Baker Inc.’s new location, which is expected to create 12 jobs in the first two years, is the result of two months’ work by Adams County officials, the EDA, the City of Natchez and the Mississippi Development Authority.

Representatives of those agencies and the firm itself will be present at the signing of the agreement, set for 10 a.m. today at the council chamber on Pearl Street, across from City Hall.

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&uot;That (signing) will signal they’re ready to move forward,&uot; Ferdinand said.

He said as of Monday morning workers were already painting and making other renovations to the second floor of the council chambers, where the firm will be located.

Baker anticipates employing 12 people in the first two years of operation, ranging from engineering specialists and mapping technicians to interns, with an average salary of $40,000, City Attorney Walter Brown said.

Baker, which also has an office in Jackson and whose parent company is based in Pittsburgh, employs more than 4,500 people in 40-plus offices throughout the nation and world. The firm, ranked 14th in transportation firms in the nation by Engineering News, also has offices in Jackson.

The Natchez staff is expected to work on mapping projects for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, among other projects.