New Power Plant Creates Hundreds of Jobs

The decision to build a lignite coal plant in Kemper County has been met with both support and criticism from members of the public. Mississippi Power's President and CEO, Ed Day, sat down with Newscenter 11's John Johnson on this week's edition of On The Record to assure citizens the facility will be good for county and state.

"First of all, I'd say it's a very exciting time for this area of the state... it's a very exciting time for the state and the Mississippi Power Company as well... this is going to be a fantastic project... the merit to this project is going to impact the area for many years... 40, 50 years to come... it's just going to be fantastic," Day enthuses.

He also points out the project is on schedule and within its budget.

"We have secured over fifty percent of the confirmed cost for the project... major equipment... a lot of the materials we have... we think we hit the market just right as far as commodities and how we predicted that."

Day says more than two hundred million dollars of the money spent so far has gone towards Mississippi businesses for supplies and other essentials for construction. In fact, some of those businesses are located right here in Meridian. The best news is the amount of jobs the construction of the plant has created and the fact that even more jobs will be created.

"Right now, we have over four hundred people on site... and over two hundred of those are from Mississippi... right around seventy of those are from Kemper County," he points out.

Once fall rolls around, an additional two hundred workers will be needed to help with construction. By the time the facility is complete in about three years, roughly a thousand workers will have been employed by the project. Once the plant is open, it's expected to provide 260 full-time positions.

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  • by James Towner Location: From Kemper County on Jul 13, 2011 at 10:27 AM
    Reading whats happening in my home town is exciting. The people in the area are hard working people. Now is time to show how smart they are too. Get into school so when this plant opens and they need people to run it you are qualified and ready. "Stack your chips, Get your Paper, Ball to you fall young people forget the haters".
  • by Anonymous on Jun 15, 2011 at 11:04 PM
    the point was ms jobs.. that didnt happen... and ones that are hired are paid 10-15 bucks lower then they should be... master carpenter 30 hr. here pay is 10.. helper 10- 15 here is 7.25 shrugs...
    • reply
      by Peabody on Jun 18, 2011 at 12:49 AM in reply to
      Where you from? Agree master nail hammerer at $10 is low but $30? $7.25 to drag boards is fair. You mean to tell me board draggers came out of state for $7.25? Most workers now are contract workers and make a fair wage but nothing stupid for the area.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 15, 2011 at 11:28 AM
    please most that are hired there are not even from this area... or state... ____ they hired me got in there and ooops over hired... right tells me alot about how they are running it..
  • by Disappointed Location: Kemper County on Jun 14, 2011 at 11:11 AM
    Contrary to apparent popular belief, there are very highly qualified people with degrees living in Kemper County that can pass a drug screen. There are also Kemper County residents who of no fault of their own have been laid off because buinesses have closed, have had to cut back on employees or have even had to move. These people are very honest, hard working community active individuals who need a break. I will agree that there probably are instances where applicants have failed the drug screen and these people should not be hired. I also know there are as many people out of work that could pass a drug test. It is usually very easy to judge our neighbors when we have a job but in this day and time your sure fire set in stone job that you plan to retire from could be gone tomorrow. I just hope when you have trouble finding work you don't get your feelings hurt when people say you could probably get a job if you could pass a drug test.
    • reply
      by Peabody on Jun 14, 2011 at 01:58 PM in reply to Disappointed
      Agreed. Most of the ones turned down now are the ones who can't even operate a mexican backhoe (shovel)drug free. Permanent jobs are the ones to be concerned about not construction. Hang on best you can your time will come.
  • by Glennda Location: DeKalb on Jun 14, 2011 at 07:12 AM
    It is "disappointing" that more people from Kemper County have not been hired. But the truth really is if they are qualified and drug free, they are either working else where or are at the power plant. Those that couldn't pass the drug test knew when they went there they weren't gonna get the job, now the excuses they give for not getting it might be another story!
  • by me too Location: Lauderdale on Jun 13, 2011 at 09:09 PM
    I agree, the one's hired should be happy. I have also been told that the drug pass rate is about 50% of applicants from Kemper. SAD.
  • by dose_of_realism Location: Vicksburg on Jun 13, 2011 at 05:17 PM
    "Very highly qualified" in Kemper County may be "unqualified" relative to job requirements. If Kemper County residents want good jobs at the plant, get a degree, get some experience, work at it. Look at Claiborne County in the late '70s when Grand Gulf was under construction. Most locals were only qualified for manual labor, but some were smart enough to position themselves for a long term career and have been very successful. This plant will go into operation one day (hopefully) and will need engineers, operators, mechanics, chemists, I&C technicians, electricians, etc. Good jobs for the long haul. Who in Kemper County is working to get degrees/experience so they can land one of these jobs? The smart ones are. The rest are wining.
  • by southerngentlemen Location: Meridian on Jun 13, 2011 at 12:46 PM
    What exactly are you complaining about, disappointed? If 70 of the jobs went to your local county people, you should be ecstatic. And by the way, the company spending the time to go over your friends applications and then letting them know that they 'decided to hire from within', thats their polite way of telling your friends that theyre either unqualified or underqualified. Companies dont waste the time and expense of the hiring process if theyre not actually hoping for qualified applicants. Remember, it does cost time and money to have someone read over each application. That being said, 70 qualified local applicants who found work should be seen as a BLESSING.
  • by concerned citizen Location: meridian on Jun 13, 2011 at 10:10 AM
    Hey disappointed, the reason why no more people were hired from Kemper is because they couldn't pass a drug test. Probably is the truth was known, this is probably the reason other companies haven't hired from Kemper county. Its amazing, I'm subject to a drug screen at any time. If I fail, I get fired. Someone on welfare and fail one and still get a check. Hey disappointed, I'm disappointed too!
  • by Disappointed Location: Kemper County on Jun 13, 2011 at 08:27 AM
    Doesn't seem quite fair that 400 people are employed and only 70 are from Kemper County. The very county that it was suppose to create jobs for. Seems this has happened with the last two businesses that came into Kemper County. They made big promises for jobs for Kemper County but then brought staff with them or hired from surrounding counties. I know for a fact that some very highly qualified people applied for positions and were turned down. One position was opened and the applicant from Kemper county was later told the company had decided to hire from within. Why even post an opening and get someone's hopes up in this low economic time if that be the case? I must say I am very disappointed with the coal plant so far.
    • reply
      by Mr.Mr. on Jun 13, 2011 at 12:32 PM in reply to Disappointed
      The reason the power plant hasn't hired many people from Kemper is because they can't pass a drug test. Thats probably why other industries in Kemper havn't hired them either. If I was to fail a drug screeen, I would get fired. Someone on welfare dosn't have to take a drug test, can go to jail, etc and still get a check. Hey disappointed, I'm disappointed too!
      • reply
        by someone on Jun 15, 2011 at 10:34 AM in reply to Mr.Mr.
        Mr. Mr. , I live in Kemper County and there is a lot of people that is not on drugs. So before you insinuate or run your mouth about something you know nothing about. You need to know the facts!
    • reply
      by Peabody on Jun 14, 2011 at 04:24 AM in reply to Disappointed
      Maybe the folks in Kemper don't have the skills needed at this time. Maybe the contractors doing the dirt work are using their own people. How many folks in Kemper have bellyscrapers and big dozers with qualified operators sitting around? More local folks will have their chance when it begins operation if they show they have the ability to be trained.
    • reply
      by That's business on Jun 15, 2011 at 06:48 PM in reply to Disappointed
      Because companies DO hire from within first. If you come into a company on the bottom of the totem pole you don't expect to get a top position if a person inside the company has the qualifications & outranks you. They have priority! That's just the way it is. Things don't happen overnight. Ya'll seem to expect miracles instantly. I worked for a company who brought their whole company from NYC to OKC then they moved it to Tallequah. It was strictly priority! The avg Joe in the City is not going to move from city to city. Relocation within the company is expected & viewed as a plus. It's not just a job it's a company with company personnel.
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