The state of Mississippi measures every new investment and job as a win for its citizens, and with a committed team of economic development officials at the state, regional and local levels, the number of wins being celebrated in communities throughout the Magnolia State continues to climb as companies announce new locations or expansions.
This outstanding growth can be attributed directly to one mighty strong quality: Mississippi boasts a business climate as hospitable as the people who call the state home. A dynamic workforce, abundant resources and a well-integrated transportation network combine to create a business environment in which companies are poised for lasting success. Mississippi’s diversified industries are well illustrated in recent economic development wins, including a company that produces wood pallet blocks and one that builds sky-defying rockets.
“In Mississippi, we recognize the tremendous opportunities for growth that our natural resources, workforce, transportation, abundant sites and areas of expertise provide. Mississippi is fully committed to helping businesses succeed now and for generations to come,” said Mississippi Development Authority Deputy Executive Director Laura Hipp.
Six interstates, 14 U.S. highways, three navigable waterways, 15 ports, five Class-1 railroads and seven commercial airports ensure companies’ convenient and quick access to domestic and international markets. Mississippi also boasts competitive energy rates, a low cost of living, comprehensive workforce training and cutting-edge research and development.
Largest Economic Development Project in State History
On November 2, 2022, Governor Tate Reeves and the Mississippi Legislature finalized the largest economic development project in state history. Steel Dynamics, Inc., its subsidiaries, and its partners are investing $2.5 billion and creating 1,000 jobs with an average of $93,000 in Lowndes County.
Steel Dynamics will be locating two, new facilities in the Golden Triangle Industrial Park located on a Tennessee Valley Authority Mega Site which is located in Columbus, Mississippi. A $1.9 billion recycled aluminum flat rolled mill will be built on a 2,000-acre site and construction is expected to begin in 2023 with completion of the aluminum mill in 2025. Additionally, Steel Dynamics joint venture SDI Biocarbon Solutions, LLC will be constructing a biocarbon production facility starting in 2022 and expected to be completed in late 2023.
Financial assistance was approved by the Mississippi Legislature through the Mississippi Major Economic Impact Authority. The funds will be used for site acquisition and site preparation, infrastructure improvements and workforce training. Lowndes County also is providing land and public infrastructure. TVA and 4-County Electrical Power Association also are assisting with the project.
Industries Select Mississippi
ArbaBlox, an engineered wood products company, recently chose to locate its state-of-the-art pallet blocks manufacturing plant in Winona, Mississippi, for a variety of reasons, with the state’s abundance of natural resources topping the list. ArbaBlox will use the sawmill residuals from the nearby Biewer Lumber facility to produce its patented-design composite wood pallet blocks. The venture will establish the first facility of its kind for ArbaBlox, which plans to establish additional facilities in the future.
Rocket Lab also brings another win to Mississippi, as the company recently announced it is locating an engine test facility at NASA’s Stennis Space Center (SSC) in Hancock County, Mississippi. Rocket Lab is the launcher of Electron, the second most-frequently flown U.S. rocket, and is developing Neutron, its much larger, reusable rocket, to carry out national security missions and deliver multiple satellites to space. Rocket Lab has selected Stennis Space Center as the site of the test and development complex for Archimedes, its Neutron rocket engines. The Archimedes Test Complex will be located within the Stennis’ A-3 Test Complex and will include the exclusive use and development of existing industrial NASA infrastructure and the center’s A-3 Test Stand.
Specialized Training and Research
Mississippi’s universities and community colleges provide critical connections to industry through workforce training and innovative research.
The state’s 15 community colleges offer more than 26,400 training classes and have served more than 550 companies with customized training solutions. This includes Northwest Mississippi Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Partners Program, which works with industries across North Mississippi to train highly skilled electronics engineering technicians, and the Center for Manufacturing Technology Excellence at East Mississippi Community College, an advanced technology training center used by businesses to conduct worker training. The center offers manufacturing skills certification classes, M3 Production-level certificates and skills training, as well as specialized training for companies.
Three of Mississippi’s research universities also play a vital role in economic and workforce development. Mississippi State University houses facilities like the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems and Raspet Flight Laboratory, and the Center for Manufacturing Excellence at the University of Mississippi provides students with everything needed to compete in the world of modern manufacturing. The Mississippi Polymer Institute at the University of Southern Mississippi is a national leader in the study of composites, advanced materials, polymers and plastics.
New Programs Embrace ‘No Red Tape’ Way of Doing Business
New programs made possible through the Mississippi State Legislature further strengthen the state’s desirable attributes that attract industry leaders from around the globe.
The state’s Site Development Grant Program is designed to assist economic development organizations and local governments in developing more available greenfield sites for industrial development on publicly owned industrial property. Two types of property qualify for the grants: Ready Sites and Premier Sites.
Ready Sites require at least 20 highly developable acres, and the site must be work-ready in six months and must be capable of having utilities installed in 12 months. Ready Sites may receive up to $50,000 in grant funds.
Premier Sites require at least 100 acres and must have qualities that differentiate them from other sites, such as being in high-demand locations, having large-scale acreage or having significant utility infrastructure in place. They also must have a workforce able to attract the intended target. Premier Sites may receive up to $250,000 in funding.
To offer companies more flexibility with taxes and incentives, Mississippi created the Mississippi Flexible Tax Incentive. MFLEX is a streamlined universal tax credit that may be used to offset a company’s Mississippi state tax liabilities.
MFLEX is designed to better meet the needs of new and expanding businesses by offering more flexibility than other tax incentive offerings, and businesses applying for MFLEX will appreciate the simplicity of the application process. MFLEX eliminates the need for multiple applications for incentive programs with a one-stop application, and it provides greater transparency to companies and state stakeholders regarding the value of credits awarded.
The benefits of doing business in Mississippi are unmatched. Come visit for yourself to see first-hand why the list of industry leaders calling Mississippi home continues to grow. Start your journey by visiting Mississippi.org, or call the Locate Mississippi team at 1-800-360-3323. You’ll be glad you did.