Our Metalworking Cluster
- We have more employees in the following sectors than the average US labor shed by the following percentages:
- 921% more steel foundries
- 770% more fabricated structural metal manufacturing
- 311% more metal tank manufacturing
- 299% more cleaning, washing, and metal pickling equipment operators
- 257% more iron foundries
- 89% more plate work manufacturing
- 16% more motor vehicle parts manufacturing
- 13% more hardware manufacturing
- We have seen growth in employees in our labor shed by the following percentages since 2011:
- 121% growth in boilermakers
- 110% growth in motor vehicle parts manufacturing
- 105% growth in millwrights
- 60% growth in metal tank manufacturing
- 30% growth in welders, solderers, and brazers
- 12% growth in plate work manufacturing
- 9% growth in fabricated structural metal
- 9% growth in team assemblers
Proximity to Automotive OEMs
- 13 Automotive OEMs are located within 325 miles of Wayne County
- 104 miles- Nissan, Canton, Mississippi
- 127 miles- Paccar, Columbus, Mississippi
- 130 miles- Mercedes, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
- 146 miles- Hyundai, Montgomery, Alabama
- 189 miles- Toyota, Blue Springs, Mississippi
- 199 miles- Honda, Lincoln, Alabama
- 219 miles- Kia, West Point, Georgia
- 243 miles- Toyota, Huntsville, Alabama
- 282 miles- Ford, Hapeville, Georgia
- 297 miles- General Motors, Doraville, Georgia
- 299 miles- General Motors, Spring Hill, Tennessee
- 302 miles- Volkswagon, Chattanooga, Tennessee
- 322 miles- Nissan, Smyrna, Tennessee
Proximity to Aerospace Industries
- Wayne County is located near the following Aerospace operations which have metalworking suppliers:
- GE Aviation (Ellisville, Mississippi) - 32 miles
- Lockheed Martin (Meridian, Mississippi)- 47 miles
- Airbus (Mobile, Alabama)- 76 miles
- Northrup Grumman (Moss Point, Mississippi) - 87 miles
- Boeing (Flowood, Mississippi) - 98 miles
- Eaton Aerospace (Jackson, Mississippi) - 100 miles
Metalworking Companies in our Labor Shed
- 8 Machine Shops
- 8 Fabricated Structural Metal Manufacturers
- 4 Sheet Metal Work Manufacturers
- 3 Farm Machinery and Equipment Manufacturers
- 3 Metal Tank Manufacturers
- 2 Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturers
- 2 Plate Work Manufacturers
- 1 Metal Window and Door Manufacturer
- 1 Fabricated Wire Manufacturer
- 1 Hardware Manufacturer
- 1 Iron Foundry
- 1 Steel Foundry
- 1 Metal Coater
- 1 Metal Plater
- 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 Metalworking in our labor shed:
- 1,394 Team Assemblers
- 1,370 Laborers and Freight, Stock and Materials Movers, Hand
- 1,134 Maintenance and Repair Workers, General
- 790 Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers
- 573 First Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers
- 395 Electricians
- 308 Industrial Machinery Mechanics
- 223 Millwrights
- 171 Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters
- 142 Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Operators
- 138 Machinists
- 133 Industrial Engineers
- 99 Structural Iron and Steel Workers
- 98 Sheet Metal workers
- 95 Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technicians
- 76 Electrical Engineers
- 60 Adhesive Bonding Machine Operators
- 59 Mechanical Engineers
- 53 Boilermakers
- 45 Molding, Coremaking, and Casting Machine Operators
- 43 Logisticians
- 34 Plating and Coating Machine Operators
- 30 Extruding and Drawing Machine Operators
- 20 Tool and Die Makers
- 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
- The Wayne County Campus of Jones Junior College offers Mig, Stik, and Tig Workforce Welding Classes.
- The campus also features a customizable, plug and play workforce training area where industrial equipment may be placed into service on which to train employees
- Jones Junior College Precision Manufacturing and Machining Technology: prepares individuals to shape metal parts on machines such as lathes, grinders, drill presses, and milling machines. Click here to learn more:
- Jones Junior College Welding: stresses welding theory, electrode classification and identification, blue-print reading and welding symbol interpretation, plasma and oxyacetylene cutting, and shop safety. Click here to learn more:
- Jones Junior College Industrial Electronics Technology/Instrumentation: prepares graduates for a career in the installation, maintenance, testing, and repair of industrial electrical, electronic and instrumentation equipment and systems. Click here to learn more:
- The Wayne County Career & Technical Education Center, part of the Wayne County School District, features a Welding Technology program for high school students.
- First year instruction includes safety, basic math, occupational orientation, hand and power tools, blueprints, Oxy/Fuel operations, and shield metal arc welding.
- Second year instruction includes different arc welding and cutting principles and practices, along with employabilitiy skills
- Students can become NCCER certified upon successful completion of the course.
- Students fabricate trailers and other metal products from scratch as part of the training.
High School Welding Students at the Wayne County Career & Technical Education Center.
- Click here to view other Workforce Training Opportunities:
Jones County Junior College
|University of Southern Mississippi
|University of South Alabama
Mississippi State University
- Wayne County is served by the Meridian Southern Railway, a shortline railroad
- The Meridian Southern connects to the Class I Kansas City Southern Railway 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
Research & Development
- The following research and development centers and institutes pertinent to the metalworking sector are located near Wayne County:
- University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Logistics, Trade, and Transportation
- University of Southern Mississippi's Polymer and High Performance Materials Institute
- University of Southern Mississippi's International Coatings and Formulation Institute
- Mississippi State's Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems
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
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 Lumber, Plywood, Millwork and Wood Panel Merchant Wholesalers
- 11 Industrial Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
- 11 General Warehousers
- 6 Chemical and Allied Products Merchant Wholesalers
- 5 Solid Waste Collectors
- 3 Industrial Gas Manufacturers
- 3 Construction Sand and Gravel Manufacturers
- 1 Hazardous Waste Treater and Disposer
- 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.
- Click here for loan programs: