The Jackson County Board of Supervisors voted today to approve the sale of land in Sunplex Light Industrial Park to American Baitworks Co. for their national headquarters, state-of-the-art manufacturing plant and distribution center. This project represents a corporate investment of $9.5 million and will create 70 jobs.
American Baitworks Co. is a manufacturer of fishing tackle, lures and bait. The project includes a 75,000-square-foot production, packaging and distribution facility.
“American Baitworks designs and manufactures an extensive portfolio of fishing lures, tackle and rods. The company is making significant investments in manufacturing technology which is creating new manufacturing opportunities for our company”, said Justin Sward, senior vice president of Operations. “Jackson County Economic Development Foundation (JCEDF), Jackson County Board of Supervisors, and Jackson County Port Authority came together to understand our needs, to accelerate our construction timeline, and worked tirelessly with our team to expedite the necessary approvals. We truly appreciate Jackson County’s support of our project.”
“American Baitworks decision to expand in Jackson County is a testament to our skilled and ready workforce and this community’s business-friendly climate,” said Randy Bosarge, District 5 supervisor, who represents this area of Jackson County, “I feel proud to be part of the team that helped bring this project to fruition in Sunplex Light Industrial Park.”
JCEDF worked with American Baitworks to identify an ideal location within Sunplex Light Industrial Park. This project represents the single largest initial private investment in Sunplex Light Industrial Park. Additionally, Singing River Electric Cooperative and Cooperative Energy are providing site preparation grant assistance.
“As the electric provider at Sunplex Industrial Park, we are ready to support the growth of American Baitworks in Jackson County,” said Brian Hughey, Singing River Electric Cooperative general manager. “We have a long history of partnering with the JCEDF to further the economic development of our service territory, all towards the betterment of the community we serve.”
“The American Baitworks project is yet another example of the Cooperative Competes initiative at work,” said Jeff Bowman, Cooperative Energy president. “Cooperative Competes aims to increase competitiveness and foster economic growth and providing grant support for the creation of 70 new full-time jobs in Jackson County is exactly that”.
“This project demonstrates that Jackson County, MS is a place where companies can achieve sustainable growth and success”, said George Freeland, JCEDF executive director, “It is another example of multi-level partnerships that JCEDF adopted as its approach to economic development and that has proven to be successful over the years.”
Construction of the new plant is slated to be completed in approximately 12 months.