Jobs On The Way To Financially Strapped Moss Point - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/27/04

Jobs On The Way To Financially Strapped Moss Point

Some much-needed jobs are coming to one of the coast's most financially strapped cities. L & S Composites will relocate to Moss Point next year. The company is also planning an expansion that will triple its workforce with jobs that pay $10 an hour.

While other industries have deserted the city, Moss Point is attractive to this type of industry.

Employees at "L & S" make a chemical lining that keeps the food inside of railcars refrigerated and cool. The general manager says orders for the lining are coming in faster than the raw materials needed to make it.

"Sometimes it's kind of hard to get the supplies that we need because of all of the demand of the industry. Right now we're waiting on a shipment," Woodie Allen said.

The business has outgrown its small plant in Ocean Springs, so next year "L & S" will add 70 more people to its payroll and move operations to Moss Point.

Ronnie Bartlett oversees the company.

"You always want to invest your money where people are happy to have you, who are friendly to industry and want the jobs and want the economic benefits that jobs bring."

Bartlett says education is another reason for the move.

"We found that the Moss Point High School is offering a composite technician training program and with such a shortage in the market place for these types of people, it was absolutely a great benefit to us."

The city of Moss Point does need industry. Mayor Frank Lynn says almost all of the tax burden now falls on homeowners since companies like International Paper and Rohm and Haas closed.

"We used to be known as the industrial city and now you could almost say we're a city without an industry," said Mayor Lynn. "We have Halter Marine, but we just need more."

Mayor Lynn says Moss Point's economy will grow if more companies like L & S Composites realize Moss Point is a good place to do businesses.

Another reason L & S Composites officials feel that relocating to Moss Point is a good move is that more than half of its employees currently live there.

by Danielle Thomas

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