PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Pascagoula has not one, but two of the state's largest private employers right in its own backyard. For more than 40 years, both companies have been providing jobs, increasing the tax base and helping create a good business climate.
Welcome to Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, where state of the art ships are built every day to defend our country. The company employs more than 10,000 people, and many of those workers, like the Reus family, live in the area.
"It treated me good. It fed my family, put them through school, and never went hungry, and that meant a lot," Sidney Reus said.
Shipyard retiree and grandfather Sidney Rues is the oldest of the bunch. His two sons and grandsons decided to follow in his footsteps and work at Ingalls.
"It keeps the south up. If the shipyard wasn't here, Chevron can't do it by itself," Travis Reus said.
On the other side of town, Chevron Refinery has thousands of workers who help produce gasoline, jet, and diesel fuels that many us we use every day.
"We employ a number of contractors, anywhere from 2,000, up to or close to 4,000 depending on what activity is going on in the refinery," CEO Tom Kovar said.
The commitment and investment in Pascagoula continues. Ingalls just received a $482 million contract to build another Coast Guard cutter. Chevron is working on a 1.4 billion base oil plan, one of its largest projects ever.
"It generates a lot of income for people who want to work here. We buy a lot of goods and services locally, and a lot of materials from other countries and around the world get processed here," Chevron employee Chris Melcher said.
The hope is the companies pump even more money into this local economy to help the city and people who live and work here.