New program could mean more jobs for minority businesses in Moss Point
MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Moss Point is getting ready to launch a $14 million project to overhaul its water, sewer and energy systems. On Thursday, the city hosted its first Minority Business Initiative for small businesses that are interested in getting a share of the project. The new program could mean more jobs for people in Moss Point.
Old gas and water meters will soon disappear in Moss Point, as the city gets ready to repair and replace its aging infrastructure.
"I was born and raised here, and I have not seen this kind of project occur in the city since I've been here," said Moss Point Mayor Billy Broomfield.
The city wants small and minority owned businesses to learn about this $14 million project and how they can bid to work on it. The city teamed up with the project contractor, McNeil Rhoads of Jackson, to host a training workshop and job fair at Pelican Landing for interested contractors.
"We have met a lot of people today, a lot of people excited, wanting an opportunity to do something. Anytime you take that excitement, you take a good outcome like we've had today, I feel very confident we'll give a lot of people some work," said McNeil Rhoads President Chris McNeil.
The work includes replacing several sewer pipes, elevating three pump stations that are below flood levels and installing about 65,000 linear feet of water lines. The city will also change out the lights in all city owned buildings with more modern, energy-efficient fixtures.
These improvements are expected to save the city more than $1 million a year.
"I think it's great. It's an opportunity that's rare that you give a small business and a minority owned business an opportunity to partner with a major project such as this," said Sharon Smith.
Smith operates YME Staffing in Moss Point. She is hoping to provide some of the employees needed to get the job done, like pipe fitters, welders and electricians.
"I hope that in the process of my company growing, I'm able to provide jobs to citizens, particularly citizens of Moss Point," said Smith.
"We believe this project is so huge, that a number of people can take advantage and benefit, and the city will benefit as well," said Broomfield.
The project is scheduled to start in the next 60 days, and it should take about 18 months to complete.
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