Industrial Trade Show Opens In Jackson County

Wiley Gibson has been repairing motors for nearly a quarter century. His family operated company has contracts with most of Jackson County's big industries.

"They try to keep their stuff here in Jackson County as much as they can, which helps us," the Pascagoula businessman said.

Then, Gibson looked around his brand new repair shop and said, "Chevron and Ingalls paid for part of this, you know what I mean."

Businesses like Gibson Electric Motors only do well when their industrial clients do well. So when Jackson County lost Rohm and Haas and International Paper, this shop had to layoff six of its 14 workers. At the 15th annual Jackson County Industrial Trade Show , the talk was that the county's industrial base was on its way back.

"I'm very optimistic about it," said Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Director Terry Carter.

Carter mentioned Northrup Grumman, Chevron and DuPont as reasons for his optimism. He said their growth plans will help the county's economy. And Sandra Gibson said that should help the family's repair shop.

"Whenever they're doing good, we're doing good," Mrs. Gibson said. "The busier they are, the more motors they burn up, and the more business we get out of it."

But only if the big industries know about what the small companies do. That's why Jackson County's chamber puts on the industrial trade show.

It's why the Gibsons always have a booth. Wiley Gibson said the exposure "is really important to get people out to see what we've got, what we've done." What the Gibsons have done is built a repair shop that caters to Jackson County's big industries.

The trade show opens again on Wednesday.