Gulfport Mayor weighs in on 1,000 potential jobs to Gulfport

Gulfport Mayor weighs in on 1,000 potential jobs to Gulfport
Hewes says the Port's facility of Seaway Road would house the actual jobs. (Image Source: WLOX News)
Hewes says the Port's facility of Seaway Road would house the actual jobs. (Image Source: WLOX News)
Mayor Hewes says he's hopeful the legislature will adopt the incentive package. (Image Source: WLOX News)
Mayor Hewes says he's hopeful the legislature will adopt the incentive package. (Image Source: WLOX News)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX)

After announcing plans for two big projects, Gov. Phil Bryant called Wednesday the largest single day for economic development in Mississippi's history.

Details from the state capital reveal the two projects would create a historic economic impact on the Magnolia state.

"One will be located near Bolton Mississippi, near Norwell Road in West Hinds county. It will provide about 2,500 jobs and about a $1.45 million investment. The other is on the port of Gulfport. It will provide about 1,000 jobs related to the shipping industry there," said Bryant.

But first, the state legislature has to approve an incentive package that will be reviewed during a special called session. Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes is hopeful things will pan out.

"He's a veteran of a lot of legislative battles, processes, and to get to the point where they call a special session the expectation is that a lot of work has gone into the background to get us to this point," said Hewes.

Even though details are still limited, Hewes understands the jobs would go to the port of Gulfport's inland sight on Seaway Road. 

"In the past what they've done out there is build boats, build ships. So, I don't know if it's going to be a product or if it's going to be ships. I'm under the assumption, but that's not always a safe thing to do. But the fact that it's 1,000 jobs lends itself to some sort of manufacturing discussion anyway," said Hewes.

Mayor Hewes says the news didn't happen overnight. It's been a long process to bring more jobs to the port and if it comes to fruition, it would be major for the state's second largest city.

"Just the sheer number of people, you know. One thousand jobs, it's going to bring more people in. It's going to bring more commerce and it's going to bring more customers so they're going to come in and discover this area. Many folks come here and say 'Man I didn't know how nice it was,'" said Hewes.

The special called session begins Thursday morning at 8 a.m. 

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