Paul Carman is a winder supervisor at Ershigs Incorporated. His job is to make sure rolls of glass strands fit just right on the 20-foot bell and spigot pipes being made for the city of Canton and Nissan .
As Carman supervised work on one of the pipes, he talked about his company's contract with the Nissan plant.
"We're very fortunate to get it, especially getting close to Christmas like this," he said.
Carman is one of 10 people working around the clock on the Nissan contract. When the contract is complete, a mile of fiberglass pipe will run from the Nissan facility to Canton's wastewater plant. Chris McIntosh runs the manufacturing plant. He said, "We're pleased to have the contract. But it's good for our guys to see something go in place in the state, close to home."
Even though the Ershigs plant is on Fifth Street in east Biloxi, the Nissan project is one of the few times it's produced pipes that will stay in Mississippi.
While shop supervisor Steve Bradford helped load a finished pipe onto a truck, he said, "With the way times are kind of slow with the economy, it really meant a lot to the company."
According to state economic leaders, a Biloxi company producing the fiberglass pipe is an example of how the Coast can capitalize on Nissan coming to central Mississippi. Blake Wilson represents the Mississippi Economic Council. He said Nissan "has put Mississippi on the map. Now the coast opportunity I think from the Nissan plant is going to be to use that as an electromagnet, to say hey, pay attention to Mississippi."
Ershigs employees hope pipe production is the first of many projects between the Biloxi manufacturer and Nissan. Ershigs can produce up to 12 fiberglass pipes a day.
The Nissan contract makes up about a third of the work being done at the east Biloxi plant.