Jobs Coming?

Meridian, Miss. Economic development officials say there's renewed optimism about jobs that could come to Meridian.

Within the last month, announcements have been made about companies locating in two areas north of Meridian. In coming weeks, officials with the East Mississippi Business Development Corporation say they are optimistic that an announcement will also be made here.

"I'm pleased to report that we're in final negotiations on two projects for Meridian, Mississippi," says EMBDC President, Wade Jones. "So, it's very, very important that we all be positive. We need to see that glass half full and not half empty."

Jones says there are many reasons that locals should have a positive view of the local job market. Over the past six years he says Lauderdale County has located 5 companies making $98 million in capital investments and employing 700 people.

"The good news is that all of our buildings are filled, with the exception of one, and it probably won't be available in the future."

Wade Jones is referring to the building that was left vacant by Handy Hardware when it closed in December, leaving 107 people without a job.

"Because of the pricing of 50 cents on the dollar, it's going to be a very attractive building at a very low price and we're confident that we can move that building within a reasonable amount of time."

Next month Jones is he's traveling to Atlanta, Greenville, South Carolina and Dallas to market the building.