"Harsh Realities" Forced Oreck's Relocation Decision - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

"Harsh Realities" Forced Oreck's Relocation Decision

The gray sky overhead painted a rather gloomy portrait of the mood around the Oreck Manufacturing Plant.

"It's never a good day when you lose a company," Harrison County Development Commission Executive Director Larry Barnett said. "It isn't a good day. But we will be very positive moving forward to market this facility to other companies."

Oreck was once hailed a savior in Harrison County for restoring jobs at the Long Beach Industrial Park plant. Oreck's decision to close the vacuum plant sucked the wind out of 450 sails. That's how many people will lose their jobs between the end of February and October. A news release said the company made the announcement today to give plant employees as much notice as possible.

Harrison County Supervisor Marlin Ladner said the decision to move "at this time, or any other time, is just unbelievable to me."

The headline on the Oreck news release also had Supervisor Ladner scratching his head. It touted the fact that Oreck was keeping jobs in America by moving from Long Beach to Cookeville, Tennessee.

"Long Beach, Mississippi is in America," Ladner said. "That's my response, that if they want to keep jobs in America, Long Beach, Mississippi is in America."

Ladner was also miffed by the reasons Oreck listed for moving its plant to Tennessee. Oreck's president cited "the increased cost of doing business and the harsh realities of living on the gulf coast" since Katrina. "They're just aggravating it. By leaving, they're making it even more difficult," said Ladner.

"Mississippi's Economic Development Commisison, the State and the County were extremely helpful over the past 10 years," the Oreck news release stated. "This post Katrina plant phase out is determined by facts and factors beyond anyone's control."

Oreck's president says his company will work with the Harrison County Development Commission to find a new group to take over the manufacturing plant.

When Oreck came to the Long Beach Industrial Park, it received a 10 year tax exemption. Development commissioners estimate the vacuum maker saved more than $1.7 million over that period of time. The tax break runs out at the end of the year, just as Oreck is beginning to shut down its plant.

"I don't think it's right," Ladner said. "I don't think it's fair. And I don't think it's equitable."

by Brad Kessie

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Two teens charged with Gulfport man's murder

    Two teens charged with Gulfport man's murder

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-07-29 19:00:30 GMT
    Two Gulfport teens are charged with murder after police say they shot Lamont Hayes in his home last week and left him to die.More >>
    Two Gulfport teens are charged with murder after police say they shot Lamont Hayes in his home last week and left him to die. Monday night, investigators tracked down Jalen Shaquille Williams, 19, and arrested him at his home. Rashad Rejohn Johnson, 17, was arrested Monday at the Harrison County Juvenile Detention Facility, where he was being held on an unrelated charge.More >>
  • SRHS to Close Two More Clinics

    SRHS to Close Two More Clinics

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:50 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:50:29 GMT
    Singing River Health System has announced the closure of two more primary care clinics as part of a realignment program. The Gautier and D'Iberville facilities will close August 29.
    More >>
    Singing River Health System has announced the closure of two more primary care clinics as part of a realignment program. According to SRHS officials, the Gautier and D'Iberville facilities will close August 29.More >>
  • Coroner: Gulfport murder victim was shot in the groin

    Coroner: Gulfport murder victim was shot in the groin

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:54 AM EDT2014-07-24 10:54:09 GMT
    According to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, Lamont Hayes, 41, was shot in the groin area and bled to death just a few hours later Tuesday night.More >>
    An area of Gulfport still reeling from the brutal murder of a child last week was hit with another violent death Tuesday night. According to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, Lamont Hayes, 41, was shot in the groin area and bled to death just a few hours later.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.