Manufacturers help fuel Mississippi's economic engine

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi is a strong and diverse manufacturing state, with shipbuilding, a growing auto industry and more. The gross domestic product for Mississippi is $100 billion, and manufacturing alone represents about 20 percent of that.

More than 2,000 members of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association are in Biloxi this week for their annual conference. MMA President Jay Moon said manufacturing is the single largest job creator in the state.

"We've been a manufacturing nation throughout most of our history and it provides a lot of benefit to local communities and individual states in terms of job creation, research and development," Moon said.

He believes conferences like this one help all Mississippi manufacturers grow.

"It's a chance for the members from all over the state to learn more about things like the new Affordable Care Act, like energy, a variety of different topics. And also to hear from featured speakers such as the lieutenant governor."

Lt. Governor Tate Reeves and other state leaders often attend the MMA conferences. Reeves said manufacturers are among the most important economic engines in our state.

"Manufacturing employs a large number of people. It also represents a huge capital investment in our state."

He said every one job in manufacturing creates three more jobs in surrounding communities. That's why Reeves said they are committed to making Mississippi's business climate more attractive.

"More and more businesses in America are looking at Mississippi to locate their business where there's a quality workforce, where we have an opportunity to have a great quality of life and it's just part of our overall economy."

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