Get ready to work Natchez

Published 8:46 pm Tuesday, September 7, 2021

How wonderful it is to see a new business locating here — any new business.

But a new billion-dollar industry, now that is the recipe for what many in Natchez have been crying for ages — jobs!

Velocys Bayou Fuels project promises to bring jobs, and a lot of them, to the Miss-Lou region whether directly or indirectly.

While the industry itself would employ 100 or so people, it should create a ripple effect in the community where other support industries would require hundreds more jobs to meet the demands of an industry — which would need to take in 3,000 tons of wood chips each day and ship out roughly 30 million gallons of its renewable fuel product to customers each year.

As Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson said in his Labor Day column, “Natchez has jobs.”

The question remains: Do we have the workforce to fill the jobs that are here and the ones that will become available in the not too distant future?

With a groundbreaking slated to take place in 2023 and a two to three-year construction timeline, the time to train up a workforce for the industry that has promised to build roots here is now.

Copiah-Lincoln Community College has already jumped on board by offering CDL classes in Natchez. We also need to train up a new generation of technicians, engineers, technologists and more. Natchez also needs teachers to take up the responsibility of workforce training.

We, like all of you, want to see this community thrive and we have high hopes for the Bayou Fuels project. Let’s get to work!