Clarke Pushes Ahead

At 13 percent, Clarke County has the highest unemployment rate in east central Mississippi and the fifth highest in the state. However, according to county supervisors, that could soon change.

After visiting industrial parks throughout the Southeast, supervisors say they have found several companies looking at possibly locating in the area.

"Right now the companies that are looking are trying to get their finances straightened out," said Paul Mosley, supervisor of District 4. "There are some federal and some state grants and they're preparing to see if they can get those grants."

According to Mosley, one of the companies looking at locating in the area is based out of Spartenburg, South Carolina. This company in particular is looking at locating in the old Burlington building in Stonewall.

With negotiations ongoing, not much information is available. However, Mosley did tell us that initially the company would hire about 100 people and offer high paying wages and benefits, similar to Burlington.

Also on the county's agenda is the construction of a new 325 acre industrial park, located about five miles outside Quitman. Supervisors say getting a company to commit early to locating in the park could save the county money.

"If we can put one company in here, we've got some funds that we can dip into," said Tony Fleming, president of the board of supervisors.

If all goes well supervisors say the new industrial park will be completed by the end of the year.