Big change for small town: A large investment coming to Shuqualak

SHUQUALAK, Miss. (WCBI) – With a population of less than 400, the small town of Shuqualak has a big change coming its way.

Shuqualak Mill is the single largest investment in the history of J.M. Huber Corporation.

Economic development is on the rise in the small town of Shuqualak with hundreds of jobs on the way.

Huber Engineered Woods has a long history. The 140-year-old company has been in the same family for six generations.

However, in Shuqualak they’re more focused on the company’s future.

“This is an awesome match,” said Eldon Padgett.

The company’s new plant is set to bring hundreds of direct and indirect jobs to the community.

Eldon Padgett, the plant’s manager, said Huber’s sixth and largest facility broke ground in the perfect town.

“We’re not a company that settles in big locations, big cities. We would like them to be accessible. But when we come to small communities, that’s what we do. We engage with the community, and we love to talk because we’re gonna be a part of that community. We’re now neighbors. So that’s what makes this area and the areas in our other five facilities work,” said Padgett.

According to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security Noxubee County has one of the highest unemployment rates in the region.

Gretchen McClain, President and CEO of J.M. Huber Corporation, said the plant will offer plenty of opportunities for financial growth in a community that needs it.

“This facility will be working seven days/24 hours. We’re excited because we’ve got teams and we can help them be able to prosper themselves. They can work hard, but also go home safely to their families and so forth,” said McClain.

Huber expected to directly employ more than 150 workers when the plant goes online.

“Our major brand is AdvanTech. It’s a self-weaving product that you put underneath your tile, underneath your finished floor, or underneath your carpet. Others are sheeting, roofing, and wall sheeting. They’re called zip systems,” said Eddie Coleman, President of the Noxubee Board of Supervisors.

He said Noxubee County’s taxpayers will feel the economic impact from Huber Corporation.

“You pay taxes on a $400 million plant, you got a good check coming in and it’ll allow our other taxpayers all over the county to pay a lower tax including the car tags and everything,” said Coleman.

The facility is set to be in full operation by spring of 2026.

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