Forest, Miss. Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems in Forest has just started an expansion that will make the gigantic facility even bigger.
Gov. Phil Bryant, Cong. Gregg Harper, and Sen. Terry C. Burton were on hand for Raytheon's groundbreaking ceremony. Bryant says adding 150 jobs in the long run means that 150 Mississippi families will be impacted positively.
"And it means building a product that will help our war fighters and maintain liberty around the world," said Bryant. "And I think you just can't get any better than that."
Raytheon's Forest facility produces fighter jet radars and the sentinel air defense radar for the U.S. Army, among other things. The company says it anticipates growth in the airborne radar and electronic warfare markets, which is why it is expanding.
And it's job growth like this that the governor and congressman both say is crucial in moving the state forward.
"But what this means here is not just what it means to the families that are going to have jobs, but it's a matter of national security," said Harper. "The devices are going to be testing here or things that will help us as we move forward."
"And so my job is to make sure every Mississippian that wants a job has one," said Bryant. "Now recently, I've said, even if they don't want a job, I'd like for them to have one. So it is critical that we continue to grow jobs, particularly in advanced manufacturing such as Raytheon."
Raytheon is already one of the largest defense manufacturing plants in the state. This expansion will keep it in close competition with other major manufacturers in the state.
Raytheon is one of the oldest and largest defense contractors in the United States with about $24 billion in annual revenue and more than 63,000 employees nationwide.