Our Wood Products Cluster
- Click here to view the inventory of forestland in Southern Mississippi:
- Wood products is a $14.8 billion industry in Mississippi
- These are a few of the Wood Products Companies within our Labor Shed:
- Quality Plywood- curved plywood and wood components for the furniture industry manufacturer
- Named outstanding Mississippi International Exporter by the Mississippi Development Authority
- Hood Industries- manufacturer of Southern Pine lumber
- Scotch Plywood- manufacturer of Southern Yellow Pine Plywood
- Georgia Pacific plant- manufacturer of pulp and lumber
- Smith Brothers Forest Products- manufacturer of hardwood lumber
- AlaMiss- logging equipment dealer and wood yard
- Quality Plywood- curved plywood and wood components for the furniture industry manufacturer
- We have more employees in the following sectors than the average US labor shed by the following percentages:
- 3,746% more reconstituted wood product manufacturing laborers
- 2,638% more cut stock, resawing lumber, and planing laborers
- 2,075% more paper mill laborers
- 1,498% more hardwood veneer and plywood manufacturing laborers
- 1,080% prefabricated wood building manufacturing laborers
- 851% more wood preservationists
- 694% more engineered wood member laborers
- 642% more sawmill laborers
- 175% more wood container and pallet manufacturer
- We have had the following percentages of growth in jobs in our labor shed since 2011:
- 591% growth in cut stock, resawing lumber, and planing manufacturers
- 113% in prefabricated wood building manufacturers
- 86% stationary product manufacturers
- 75% growth in hardwood veneer and plywood manufacturers
- 40% paperboard container manufacturers
Wood Products Companies in our Labor Shed
- 95 Logging Companies
- 26 Support Companies for Forestry
- 14 Sawmills
- 13 Lumber, Plywood, Millwork and Wood Panel Merchant Wholesalers
- 11 Timber Tract Operations
- 6 Wood Kitchen Cabinet and Countertop Manufacturers
- 3 Wood Container and Pallet Manufacturers
- 2 Hardwood Veneer and Plywood Manufacturers
- 2 Paper Mills
- 2 Cut Stock, Resawing Lumber, and Planing Manufacturers
- 2 Nonupholstered Wood Household Furniture Manufacturers
- 2 Paperboard Container Manufacturers
- 1 Prefabricated Wood Building Manufacturer
- 1 Softwood Veneer and Plywood Manufactuerer
- 1 Engineered Wood Member Manufacturer
- 1 Truss Manufacturer
- 1 Reconstituted Wood Product Manufacturer
- 1 Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturer
- 1 Stationary Product Manufacturer
- There are no unionized facilities in Wayne County
- Mississippi is a Right-To-Work State
- We have the following numbers of skilled employees pertinent to wood products in our labor shed:
- 810 Loggers
- 790 Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers
- 411 Logging Equipment Operators
- 384 Sawmill Laborers
- 223 Millwrights
- 138 Machinists
- 133 Industrial Engineers
- 97 Maintenance Workers, Machinery
- 95 Electrical Engineering Technicians
- 93 Fallers
- 76 Electrical Engineers
- 65 Chemical Technicians
- 60 Surveying and Mapping Technicians
- 59 Mechinical Engineers
- 56 Industrial Engineering Technicians
- 43 Logisticians
- 38 Chemists
- 37 Chemical Engineers
- 27 Forest and Conservation Technicians
- 24 Foresters
- 10 Log Graders and Scalers
- Business Facilities Magazine ranked Mississippi the #1 state in the US for competitive labor costs.
- There are 13 temporary help service companies in the labor shed
Natural Gas Pipelines
Research & Development
- The following research and development centers and institutes pertinent to the wood products sector are located near Wayne County:
- Mississippi State's College of Forest Resources has a Forest and Wildlife Research Center and the Franklin Furniture Insitute of Research
- University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Logistics, Trade, and Transportation
- University of Southern Mississippi's Polymer and High Performance Materials Institute
- The Wayne County Career & Technical Education Center, part of the Wayne County School District, features a Forestry program complete with a working sawmill for hands-on training for high school students.
- Forestry I includes leadership activities, tree growth and stand development, dendrology, forest surveying and mapping, legal land descriptions, log measurements, and introduction to timber cruising.
- Forestry II focuses on identifying forest products, employability skills, forest management, advanced timber cruising, marketing, harvesting, reforestation, forest fire management, forest insects and diseases.
High School Forestry Student training in our mock sawmill.
- Jones Junior College Forestry Technology: provides students with the necessary scientific skills, mathematical theories, and field techniques to be a forestry technician. Click here to view the curriculum for the program:
- Jones County Junior College Precision Manufacturing Technology: prepares students to shape parts on machines. Click here to view more:
- Click here to view other Workforce Training Opportunities:
Jones County Junior College
Mississippi State University
University of Southern Mississippi
University of South Alabama
Primary and Secondary Education
Wayne County School District
- Selected by U.S. News and World Report as a "Professional Learning Community"
- Over 3,600 students
- 16:1 Student/Teacher ratio, the same as the state average
- $10,029 in Revenue per Student, higher than the state average
- Fastest growing private school in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (pre-K through 12th grade)
- ACS-CASI (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement) accreditated
- Wayne County is served by the Meridian Southern Railway, a shortline railroad.
- The Meridian Southern connects to the Class I Kansas City Southern Railway and the Norfolk Southern 40 miles from Wayne County in Meridian, Mississippi.
Deep Water Ports
- According to RSMeans Construction Cost Data, Wayne County is cheaper than the following:
- $20/sq. ft. cheaper than the US average to build a manufacturing facility, $27/sq. ft. cheaper to build an office, and $14/sq. ft. cheaper to build a warehouse
- $2/sq. ft. cheaper to build a manufacturing facility than in Mobile AL, $1/sq. ft. cheaper to build an office, and $1/sq. ft. cheaper to build a warehouse
- $3/sq. ft. cheaper to build a manufacturing facility than in Memphis, $4/sq. ft. cheaper to build an office, and $1/sq. ft. cheaper to build a warehouse
- $4/sq. ft. cheaper to build a manufacturing facility than in Birmingham AL, $5/sq. ft. cheaper to build an office, and $3/sq. ft. cheaper to build a warehouse
- $5/sq. ft. cheaper to build a manufacturing facility than in Nashville, $6/sq. ft. cheaper to build an office, and $3/sq. ft. cheaper to build a warehouse
- $7/sq. ft. cheaper to build a manufacturing facility than in Atlanta, $9/sq. ft. cheaper to build an office, and $5/sq. ft. cheaper to build a warehouse
Support Services within the Labor Shed
- 81 Commercial Banks
- 50 General Freight Trucking
- 44 Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Building Construction Companies
- 39 Electrical Contractors
- 32 Site Preparation Contractors
- 26 Industrial Machinery and Equipment Merchant Wholesalers
- 16 Computer Systems Design Services
- 13 Temporary Help Agencies
- 11 Industrial Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
- 11 General Warehousers
- 8 Machine Shops
- 8 Fabricated Structural Metal Manufacturers
- 6 Chemical and Allied Products Merchant Wholesalers
- 5 Solid Waste Collectors
- 4 Sheet Metal Work Manufacturers
- 3 Industrial Gas Manufacturers
- 3 Construction Sand and Gravel Manufacturers
- 2 Plate Work Manufacturers
- 1 Hazardous Waste Treater and Disposer
- 1 Metal Coater
- 1 Metal Plater
- Mississippi's corporate income tax rate's top bracket of 5% is 9th lowest in the United States.
- Kiplinger ranked Mississippi the 4th best tax-friendly state for business in August, 2014.
- Mississippi has the 3rd lowest corporate unemployment tax rate for new employers in the United States
- Mississippi is tied for the lowest maximum corporate unemployment tax rate for employers in the United States
- The Mississippi legislature passed massive workers' comp reform in 2012 to satisfy Mississippi businesses
- Wayne County has no attainment issues for air permits.
- Local permits will be granted within 7 days of receipt (assuming paperwork is proper).
- The state of Mississippi offers one-stop permitting.
- CDBG- $20,000 per job up to $2.5 million per project. Must go towards drainage, water & sewer improvements, roads, bridges, rail spurs, or buildings.
- Rural Impact Grant Fund- maximum of $150,000 per project. Must go towards improvements of: building, land, utilities, drainage, or transportation facilities.
- Development Infrastructure Grant- maxium of $150,000 per project. Must go towards improvements of: building, land, utilities, drainage, or transportation facilities.
- Payroll Rebate- 4% of payroll rebated back to company for 10 years. Company must pay at least 110% of the average county wage.
Customized Training Cash
Customized workforce training is designed to meet a specific business need. It includes curriculum and material development as well as instruction. Funding is available through project agreements with the Community Colleges for Workforce Enhancement Training Fund administered by the Mississippi Community College Board. Appropriate financial documentation is required.
- Industry-Based Training – A business may be reimbursed for up to $35 per hour of training conducted by the industry for the industry when the college does not provide the training.
- Vendor Training – A business may be reimbursed for on-site vendor training costs at one-half of the daily cost, not to exceed $500 per day, with a 10-day limit per training area. Off-site vendor train-the-trainer costs may be reimbursed at a maximum of $500 per person for training registration. Such reimbursement may apply to no more than two (2) individuals to attend the same training area. Travel costs comply with project rules and limits. A business may be reimbursed for up to $20,000 per fiscal year for allowable, approved travel costs.
- Train-the-Trainer – A business may be reimbursed for limited travel costs associated with training employees in a discipline not currently available through the local community college. Such reimbursement may apply to no more than two (2) individuals to attend the same training in a non-production area and no more than four (4) individuals per production training area. Travel costs comply with project rules and limits. A business may be reimbursed from $10,000 to $15,000 per fiscal year for allowable, approved costs for domestic and international travel, respectively.
On-The-Job Training Cash
Mississippi’s Workforce Investment Network (WIN) Job Centers can help offset training costs for new employees through the WIN On-the-Job Training (OJT) activity. Businesses may be reimbursed for up to half of a new employee’s wages while the employee learns the job, on the job.
OJT Participant Criteria
New employees covered by an OJT agreement must be unemployed or underemployed as determined by the WIN Job Center.
- Reimbursement depends on the wages paid to new employees and the length of training.
- The length of training is negotiated based on the skills necessary to perform the job(s) and the new employees’ existing skills.
- Limited to no more than 50% of the total workforce or new hires.
- The maximum length of training is limited to no more than six months or 1040 hours.
- Businesses that relocate and lay off workers at another location may not receive an OJT for 120 days after relocating.
- Other OJT rules and record keeping requirements can be obtained from the WIN Job Center.
The community college and/or WIN Job Center will work with the company to develop and negotiate a training and service plan and funding agreement.
Tax Abatements & Credits
- Rural Economic Development Income Tax Credit- credit equal to the debt service on qualified industrial revenue bonds can be used to offset 80% of the state corporate tax liability for the life of the bond.
- Jobs Tax Credit- A credit of 5% of payroll per job used to offset up to 50% of a business's state income tax liability, unused credits may be carried forward for five years. Note, the company may takes this as a job training option in which $1,500 per job will be used to pay costs incurred in training employees.
- Industrial Property Tax Exemption- 10 year property tax exemption on local taxes except school taxes.
- Free Port Warehouse Property Tax Exemption- Full exemption from property taxes on personal property that is being held and stored prior to transport outside of Mississippi.
- Skills Income Tax Credit- tax credit of up to $2,500 per employee for training expenses
- Sales and Use Tax Exemption- sales and use tax exemption for new or expanding facilities.
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