Category Archives: Manufacturing

City of Columbus Waives Debt for Local Business

City of Columbus Waives Debt for Local Business


The city of Columbus has agreed to forgive about $80,000 clothing manufacturer American Power Source, located at 826 17th Ave. S., owes on its property note. In exchange, the company must pay property taxes and note payments that are delinquent and keep its employment at a minimum of 30 jobs. Photo by: Alex Holloway/Dispatch Staff

City Attorney Jeff Turnage reported that the city and Golden Triangle Development LINK worked out an agreement which would see military clothing manager American Power Source Inc. repay roughly $66,000 worth of back taxes and note payments to the city, the county, and the city school district, in exchange for the deed to the manufacturer’s property and other considerations. The agreement also requires that the company continue to do business at their current location, as well as maintaining current employment for local workers.

“In the past three to four years,” the agreement states, “APSI has unfortunately experienced a substantial reduction in orders and sales volume for U.S. military uniforms that it produces due, at least in part, to a shift in the production of such uniforms to U.S. prisons.”   Because of slumping production, American Power Source has missed several note payments and ad valorem tax payments for 2014-16. The resolution notes a “substantial likelihood” the company would fail to make the remaining note payments.

Ward 4 Councilman Marty Turner, who cast the one opposing vote, did so because he said he didn’t feel it was in the best interest of his ward or the city as a whole. He encouraged people to research the company and agreement, and said he felt more people should have been involved before the final decision.  “It could have been much better if more people were involved for the disclosure of what was going on,” Turner said. “It could have been much better. I don’t just necessarily disagree with everything, but if we would have had a better deal, then I would have went along with it . . .It seems like the government is leaving the ordinary people out of the discussion, and their representatives are just voting just to vote,” he added.

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West Point’s Navistar Plant Going Strong

West Point’s Navistar Plant Going Strong


WEST POINT, Miss. (AP) – Navistar International Corp. has been awarded a $35 million contract to deliver 40 armored vehicles to Pakistan from its Mississippi plant.

The U.S. Army announced the contract Thursday, saying Navistar, based in Lisle, Illinois, had made the only bid for the mine resistant ambush protected MaxxPro Dash DXM trucks.

Work is supposed to be done at Navistar’s plant in West Point, as well as in Pakistan, and is estimated to be finished by Oct. 31, 2018.

Although the West Point plant had laid off all its workers in 2013, it has since won a series of contracts to build or refurbish vehicles for the U.S. Army and foreign militaries, hiring several hundred workers.

Courtesy of WCBI

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Insitu Visits MSU in Search of Talent

Insitu Visits MSU in Search of Talent


The Dispatch – Starkville, MS

Executives from Boeing subsidiary Insitu were in town recently, following up on last year’s work towards establishing a foothold for their aircraft in the Golden Triangle area. They are currently seeking candidates to fill at least two “high-skill” positions within their company, along with a possible internship, and they have chosen MSU’s recent job fair as the best place to start looking. Mississippi State is the lead university in the Federal Aviation Administration’s Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE) program. The university is also an FAA Center of Excellence.

Insitu leadership Darcy Davidson, Benjamin Tarkany, Charlton Evans, and Jon Damush meet with the local media at Mississippi State University Tuesday afternoon. The Boeing subsidiary that works with unmanned aerial systems is opening a location at the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park in Starkville. Photo by: Deanna Robinson/Dispatch Staff

Benjamin Tarkany coordinates talent acquisition at Insitu.  “We have established a vision of what we want to do with the office,” he said. “At first it was more (looking at) what are the capabilities in the area, and we’ve aligned what we can do project-wise with the talent pool here and what we think we can realistically bring to sit out of this office and see benefit from it . . . We’re engaging candidates here locally and we’re also hoping to bolster our applicants by being here and present,” he later added.

Insitu Vice President and General Manager Jon Damush said,  “The challenge in that is that you might be able to find a place that has conducive airspace, but most of the time conducive airspace is not co-located with any kind of infrastructure or human resources capacity, let alone an academic capacity . . .When we became aware of what was happening at Mississippi State with the ASSURE program and economic development efforts that are going on here, to us it looked like the perfect alignment of factors.”

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Joe Max Higgins Helps Golden Triangle to Make a Great Impression

Joe Max Higgins Helps Golden Triangle to Make a Great Impression

“Business Facilities” magazine did a great article following up on CBS’ coverage of our own Joe Max Higgins not too long ago, highlighting his zeal and efforts in bringing manufacturing plants and jobs to our area. Higgins has been working tirelessly for many years to help revitalize our area — and that’s Good for Business!


Thanks to an interview on last Sunday’s 60 Minutes broadcast on CBS, the economic development community has a new mega-star, and his name is Joe Max Higgins. Higgins is Economic Development director for Mississippi’s Golden Triangle.

As revealed during his star turn on 60 Minutes, Higgins is a project-building dynamo. Since he arrived in the Golden Triangle in 2003, Joe Max has turned a rural stretch of the Magnolia State into one of the hottest high-growth locations you can find anywhere. If you didn’t watch Sunday’s show, we encourage you to check it out.

Here are some highlights:

Under Joe Max Higgin’s leadership, the area has attracted $6 billion in new investments. Unemployment in the Golden Triangle is now 6 percent and falling fast.

Beginning in the 1990s, the Golden Triangle began suffering an exodus of manufacturing jobs in its primary industries of textiles, toys and tubing, with a majority of the estimated 12,000 jobs it lost leaving for overseas locations. Since Higgins arrived, more than half of these jobs have been replaced. According to Joe Max, the influx of 6,000 new manufacturing jobs to the tri-county region was driven by companies who had offshored production coming to the realization that they could produce their goods and get them to market from plants in Mississippi cheaper than by shipping them to the U.S. from overseas plants.

Joe Max’s in-your-face approach has landed some killer deals for the Golden Triangle, including a Steel Dynamics plant that is one of the most advanced steel mills in the nation.

Higgins’ bulldog tenacity is applied to state and county officials as well as corporate site selectors. He’s succeeded in convincing them to pony up more than half a billion in incentives and tax breaks to grease the wheels of dealmaking in the Golden Triangle.

Higgins told 60 Minutes that when he arrived in the Golden Triangle the area was “paralyzed” by poverty. But he saw some golden assets that could form a foundation for solid growth, including an airport, railways and waterways that connect the area to the Gulf Coast in the south and the Great Lakes in the north.

Higgins told the locals to shake off what he called “a losing attitude” and realize they had the assets to make the Triangle “big and strong and fast.”

Bulldog indeed. You’ve got our full attention Joe Max, and we look forward to keeping everyone up to date on the great progress being made in Mississippi’s Golden Triangle.


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Joe Max Makes the Mississippi Top 50

Joe Max Makes the Mississippi Top 50

Columbus – Courtesy of MS Top 50

joe max higgins

GTR LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins (courtesy photo)

Local businessman and GTR LINK CEO, Joe Max Higgins, will soon be inducted into this year’s “Top 50 Most Influential people in the state of Mississippi.” He has taken part in the efforts to bring major businesses such as Yokohama and PACCAR to our area, as well as a number of other economic developments. He will be receiving his award on Nov. 9 of this year at the Old Capitol Inn, along with the rest of the winners of this special award.

Please see the link below for more info and for the full article:

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Natural Gas Expansion Approved for Lowndes, Oktibbeha — Could Bring Jobs to Area

A natural gas expansion has been unanimously approved by the PSC, allowing greater access to our native resources in Oktibbeha and Lowndes Counties. Hopes are high that this will bring both income, and many new jobs, to our area!

gtr linkGolden Triangle, Mississippi –

Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley recently announced the approval of $16.7 million in natural gas expansion projects in Lowndes and Oktibbeha Counties to equip two industrial sites with the necessary gas infrastructure to land more jobs for the Golden Triangle region.
“Utility infrastructure is a key to Mississippi’s ability to win the jobs of the future. These expansions will be a great benefit to the Golden Triangle.” said Presley. “I deeply appreciate my fellow Commissioners working with me to get these projects funded.”

“This program is a ‘win-win’ for everyone involved,” said David Gates, President of the Division of Atmos Energy. “Under the program we will be able to invest millions of dollars in natural gas infrastructure in the Golden Triangle. This will make the area, which is already a desirable location, even more attractive to industry and that will mean more jobs and more economic development to the region.”

Funds will be used to expand gas capacity in the Golden Triangle Industrial Aerospace Park and the proposed Starkville Industrial Park currently under development.

Read the full article here:

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Local Boy Done Wood — News in the World of Food

20150424085747-58f2ab97Info courtesy of the Dispatch

Main Street to Get a New Kind of Furniture Store

Mississippi Steel Processing’s president, Chip Gerber, has been waiting a long time to open up a shop that showcases his passion. On Thursday, September 29th, he will get his wish. that will be the first operating day of his new shop, The Steel Forest Furniture Company at 515 Main Street. Gerber has been making hand-crafted furniture as a hobby out of Mississippi wood and steel for years, and now he’s had the opportunity to increase production of his custom pieces, and share them with his eager customers. Please come on out to show your support for this new type of store, run by a local hobbyist-turned-artisan!

 Under New Management: Cattleman’s Steak and Fish

One of Columbus’ best-known restaurants will re-open at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 29th. They are  located at 301 Tuscaloosa Road, and they will now be offering an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet, in addition to their other fare. They will be open from 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, and from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday with a lunch buffet.

 Avast, Matey! Krispy Kreme Shares the sweet Booty!

Monday was International Talk Like a Pirate Day, and Krispy Kreme has continued its popular tradition of giving out free donuts to patrons who come in dressed as pirates, or who were at least talking like them, on that day. Store Manager Jessica Carpenter reports that they gave away more than 6,300 donuts to gleeful participants this year.

For more info, you can read the full article at the Dispatch:

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The TVA Infinity Megasite is Online in Columbus!

The TVA Infinity Megasite is Online in Columbus!

Bill Johnson, President and CEO of the TVA (Tennesse Valley Authority) announced today that the Infinity Site is open and ready for a manufacturing business to move right in. Infinity is a TVA Megasite in the Columbus area; two others also exist as part of the industrial park off of Hwy 82, which houses Steel Dynamics and part of PACCAR. This is now the third such site in the Columbus area, and the eighth in the state of Mississippi.

Megasites are large (1000+ acres) industrial production sites designed to be everything a manufacturer could want, all set up and ready for them to move in and get down to business in short order: The buildings themselves, land and parking, infrastructure, and easy access to major transportation routes such as interstates and railways. On average, as many as three thousand jobs are created as part of a megasite’s creation and usage.

joe max higginsJohnson gave JoeMax Higgins, CEO of the GTR LINK, an award recognizing the hard work the LINK has done in order to facilitate speedy certification of the site – a process which can normally take a year and a half was done in half the time due to their efforts.

Mississippi is growing ever stronger, and word is spreading!

Colin Krieger of our own Good for Business was on had to record the announcement on video. 60 Minutes also had reporters on-hand to cover the story, as a testament to the ongoing improvements in economic development.

Link to our video here:

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Golden Triangle Manufacturers Honored

Courtesy of WCBI

Golden Triangle, Mississippi

Southern Business and Development Magazine has released its 2016 Best of Economic Development in the South ratings.
The Golden Triangle was awarded top rankings in three categories, including excellence in aerospace and automotive manufacturing.

“This is the short-list for successful places for economic development and growth,” said Brenda Lathan, Senior VP of Economic Development at the Golden Triangle Development LINK. “The professionals that vote on these are the best of the best, and they know economic quality.”

SB&D is the only media property that covers economic development in the American South, the world’s fourth-largest economy. For more information, visit

The Golden Triangle Development LINK is the regional economic development organization for Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha counties.

For the full article, click here:

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EMCC Job Fair – Today!

A job fair is happening today at EMCC’s Golden Triangle Campus! Polish up your resume, put on your Sunday best, and come on by! All are welcome!

EMCC Office of Public Affairs – PRESS RELEASE:

Employers on hand will include manufacturers like Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Mississippi, Airbus Helicopters Inc. and PACCAR Engine Company, along with representatives from other businesses seeking everything from health care workers to diesel technicians and fast food workers. Some employers will fill immediate openings while others will offer training that could lead to a job.The job fair is open, and free of charge, to all college students and area residents. The list of employers signed up to participate in the job fair is available on EMCC’s website, Look for the East Mississippi Job Fair link on the home page.

For more information, contact Melanie Sanders at (662) 243-1904 or

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