EDA to Receive Over $4 Million in Site Development Grants

Governor Tate Reeves has announced the state of Mississippi will invest nearly $25 million in site development projects throughout the state. The Economic Development Authority of Jones County has been working with the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) since early summer and will now be receiving three of these grants totaling in over $4 Million.

MDA has several site classifications that aid in determining investment levels. The EDA of Jones County has one “Ready Site” and two “Select Sites.” The Ready Site is in the Howard Industrial Park and will receive $50,000 for drainage improvements. This is the maximum amount available to a Ready Site.

The I-59 South Site, is a Select Site located within Ellisville city limits, and will receive $553,600 for clearing and the construction of a temporary road. This site is a top priority for the EDA and has great potential to recruit big industry to Jones County.

The I-59 Supply Chain Park (at Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport) is a Select Site and a joint effort between Jones County, Forrest County, and the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport Authority. This site will receive $3,402,858 to upgrade sanitary sewer capacity, construct a building pad, and complete intersection modifications. The I-59 Supply Chain Park is the future home of FedEx Ground which is under construction now.

MDA has committed $11,642,589 to Select Sites funding. This means that Jones County will receive almost 34% of all funding being allocated to Select Sites. The Economic Development Authority of Jones County is grateful to have the state joining our local entities in supporting the growth and development of Jones County.

Johnny Burnett, President, Jones County Board of Supervisors, states “Jones County has worked hard to be a competitive option in Mississippi for new and existing industries to succeed. We appreciate the state investing with us and supporting our efforts to further improve site development.”

Ross Tucker, President, Economic Development Authority of Jones County, adds “Receiving this grant from the Mississippi Development Authority will allow The EDA of Jones County to continue to make our industrial property shovel-ready. This action allows us to compete with not only other counties in Mississippi, but other states. A well-developed industrial park will aid existing development and attract new industries with high paying jobs. This serves our ultimate goal of making Jones County a great place to live and work.”

Lewis Holifield, Area Manager, CenterPoint Energy states “Funds awarded from the Mississippi Development Authority will be a tremendous boost for Jones County acting as a catalyst for attracting new investments and creating job growth, which are key ingredients for a region to prosper. CenterPoint Energy is proud to support the Economic Development Authority of Jones County as they work to raise the standard of living for all county residents.”

These two conceptual renderings show the sites potential. The EDA will often submit these or similar renderings when applying for grants or marketing the sites to new industries. 

Attention Job Seekers!!! EDA hosts Job Fair

The Jones County Economic Development Authority is excited to partner with the Governor’s Job Fair Network, Mississippi Department of Employment Security, and the WIN Job Center to host the I-59 Job Fair!

The EDA hopes to provide Jones County residents with the tools they need to successfully reenter the workforce.  There is no admission fee for applicants to attend the I-59 Job Fair. Masks are required for individuals who are not fully vaccinated. Pre-registration is highly encouraged and can be done online at www.jobfairs.ms.gov. Applicants should bring registration confirmation and provide it at the check-in station on the day of the job fair. There will be onsite registration available for those who do not pre-register online. Applicants should be prepared for on-site interviews and bring plenty of resumes as copiers will not be available. Contact the WIN Job Center for resume help. Dress for success and take advantage of this great opportunity!

Currently registered are At Home Care, Biloxi Police Department, DJ Transit, Domino’s (RPM Pizza), Dunn Roadbuilders, Ellisville State School, Forrest General Hospital, Gipson Steel, Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, Hol-Mac Corporation, Howard Industries, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Jones College Workforce College, Kohler Engines, Laurel Housing Authority, Management & Training Corporation , Mar Jac Poultry, Masonite, Mississippi Department of Corrections, Mississippi State Personnel Board, Mississippi Veterans Home – Collins, Parish Transport, Pearl River Resort-Bok Homa Casino, PG Technologies, Pine Belt Mental Healthcare Resources, PrideStaff, Rail Crew Xpress, Sanderson Farms, South Central Regional Medical Center, Group, ThermoKool, VT Halter Marine, and Wayne Farms. This event is sponsored by Mississippi Department of Employment Security, Governor’s Job Fair Network, WIN Job Center, and Jones County Economic Development Authority. 

Job Fair at Sawmill Square Mall September 16!

The Jones County Economic Development Authority will host the I-59 Job Fair in association with The Governor’s Job Fair Network of Mississippi from 9:00AM until 1:00PM on September 16th in Sawmill Square Mall in the old JCPenney space.

Employers wishing to hire may participate by registering online before September 3rd. The fee is $125 and includes 1 skirted table, 2 chairs, and 2 lunches.  The I-59 Job Fair is free to attend for all job seekers. Pre-registration for job seekers and registration for employers is available online  by completing the  Job Fair Registration Form or at https://www.jobfairs.ms.gov/2021-i-59-area-job-fair.

Interstate-14 Corridor Passed Through U.S. Senate

On Tuesday, August 3, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved an amendment adding congressional authorization of the full Interstate-14 five state corridor expansion to the pending Bipartisan Infrastructure Package. The completed I-14 would run from Midland-Odessa, Texas through Laurel and end at Augusta, Georgia.

“Interstate-14 being included in this package will benefit Jones County for generations to come. Proximity to Interstates is one of the top factors large industries look for when choosing areas to expand into. This major infrastructure advancement will allow us to compete at a higher level.” said Ross Tucker, President of the Jones County Economic Development Authority.

We have seen lobbying efforts from counties, cities, and economic development professional across the route in efforts to have this amendment passed. It is wonderful to see the hard work pay off.  The Bipartisan Infrastructure Package still must move through the House of Representatives and the Oval Office before becoming a law.