Manufacturer investing nearly $10 million to bring new jobs to Starkville

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Tuesday, the Mississippi Development Authority announced the details of a new manufacturing operation coming to Starkville.

Columbia Industries is investing $9.549 million dollars to relocate from Hillsboro, Oregon to Starkville, Mississippi to create 62 new jobs they hope to fill by 2023.

“Columbia Industries contacted us in a sense because they really wanted to locate in the southeast,” says Golden Triangle Development Link Chief Operating Officer Meryl Fisackerly. “Given just the proximity to some of their customers, quality of life. They also were having a really hard time where they (were) with taxes.”

The oilfield and solid waste equipment manufacturer has purchased the old Gulf State manufacturing facility.

“We’re very excited to have these folks come down and see the merits in being in Starkville and to bring their team down here and create industry and jobs that we were missing,” says Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill.

Oktibbeha County has the lowest unemployment rate (3.8) of the three counties in the Golden Triangle (Lowndes County: 4.0, Clay County: 4.6), according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

But these jobs are meant to help the entire region.

“This project is located in Oktibbeha County but it’s going to provide jobs for people in numerous counties throughout the region and then even beyond the counties that we work,” Fisackerly says.

Fisackerly says that the region’s ever-growing talent pool is another reason Columbia Industries is moving South.

“Given the hearty amount of current workforce that we have and more coming through the pipeline, it was very appealing to them,” she says.

“All of our junior colleges have been willing to step up and meet those needs of businesses that are coming into town and I think this is an opportunity for them to do that,” Mayor Spruill says.

Mayor Spruill hopes that this is just the beginning of their partnership with the Pacific Northwest.

“Obviously, we want to be a place where people want to be (and travel) from all over the country,” she says. “If they can do business here and feel as though they’re going to be successful, then that’s exactly what we want.”

The Golden Triangle Development says that Columbia Industries has been meeting with contractors and expects the construction and rehabilitation process to start sometime around August.

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