New Company To Open In Gulfport - - The News for South Mississippi

New Company To Open In Gulfport

An international manufacturing facility will soon make a new home on Seaway Road.

Soprema, Incorporated, a company that makes French roofing and waterproofing materials, has chosen Gulfport for its second site in the country.

"We were looking between New Orleans and Mobile. The first location was supposed to be Mobile, and finally we stopped in Gulfport, saw the beautiful region here and Industrial Park, and it was an organized industrial park. I mean, you had services and you had everything and it was more appealing here than in Mobile and it's closer to raw materials," said Soprema, Inc. vice president and general manager Gilbert Lorenzo.

Local community leaders gathered to welcome Lorenzo, along with current Soprema workers, in a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday afternoon.

"On August 29th of last year, Hurricane Katrina won a battle, but everyday since then and especially today, the citizens of South Mississippi, and in particular, Gulfport, are winning the war," said Gulfport mayor Brent Warr.

And they may win the war in more ways than one.

The future site will employ about 50 local people in high paying positions. And Lorenzo says he definitely sees an opportunity to expand the company, meaning more jobs may become available.

"New tax revenue, taxes from the employees that will work here, and the opportunity to have additional facilities such as maybe a research facility here, makes it a very good long term plan," said Harrison County Development Commission executive director Larry Barnett.

And placing a stable business in an area that needs it the most, is expected to bring positive results for everyone involved.  

Soprema, Incorporated also has a facility in Wadsworth, Ohio. The South Mississippi facility is expected to be in full operation by the early part of 2008.

By Karla Redditte

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