FOREST, MS (WLBT) - The expansion of Raytheon’s plant in Scott County means more opportunities for job seekers and the town in which it calls home.
The defense contractor's plans for a new 50,000 square foot facility will impact Mississippi and the security of the nation.
The defense of the U.S. Navy is being built in Forest, Mississippi, meaning more jobs for Mississippians through the expansion of Raytheon’s Radar Production facility on Highway 80 in Forest.
The defense company’s long standing relationship in the state reaches from community colleges to family owned businesses.
The company is investing $100 million in the construction of the Navy’s next-generation SPY-6 air and missile defense system.
“Literally the thousands of components that are built at levels all around the United States will come here and we will do the final assembly of the radar, and then we will test it and then ship it to the navy,” said Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems President Wes Kremer.
“We go in and train the workers that will come here to Raytheon and manufacture these advanced systems,” said Governor Phil Bryant. “It is the key to bringing Raytheon here. So when they get one of the young students, man or woman, on that floor they are ready to go to work day one."
Raytheon is already making an economic impact in Forest and reaching out to realtors like Janet Culpepper.
“They’re asking us for a 20 to 25 mile radius so they don’t have to drive anymore,” said Culpepper. “They’re used to living in California and Texas, and they’re got a two hour drive. So they want to cut their drive time down.”
According to the broker with Triplett Realty Services, the impact reaches from the logging industry to family owned hardware stores, dollars generated and circulated in this central Mississippi town.
“Our tax base will increase,” added Culpepper. “Our downtown area maybe we can grow more, get more restaurants in here. We can get more tax revenue. It’s just gonna be a great asset for Forest."
Construction on the Raytheon radar production facility is expected to take 18 months and is slated for completion in early 2020.