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Food Manufacturing

The industry has continued to grow in Mississippi. The state has more than 250 food processing companies that employ approximately 30,000 workers.

Agriculture is a major industry. Mississippi ranks fourth in the nation in corn and cotton production, first in catfish production, and fifth in poultry production. The state is a leading producer of rice, soybeans, and vegetables. The industry contributes nearly $5 billion to the state’s economy.

Workforce is skilled in manufacturing. With a labor force of more than 36,000 workers (2010), approximately 30% are currently employed in manufacturing.

Transportation is quick and easy. Transportation of products is possible via 4-lane highways, ports, and rail lines. U.S Highway 72 runs east-west through the region and U.S Highway 45 runs north-south. Norfolk Southern, Kansas City Southern, Redmont Railway, Tishomingo Railway and Yellow Creek Port Short Line offer rail service in the region. Yellow Creek Port on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway provides water transportation.

Food Manufacturers in TAP Region

Company NameLocationDescriptionNumber of Employees
Marathon CheeseBoonevilleproduces wide variety of cheese for 3rd party customers and offers custom packaging services170
Plumrose USABoonevillesliced deli luncheon and canned meats550
Suitor's Food ServiceRienzifood processing/meat10

Food Manufacturers in Mississippi

These include

  • Sara Lee Foods – Tupelo
  • Sara Lee Bakery Group – Meridian
  • Bryant’s Meat Company, Inc. – Taylorsville
  • Peco Foods – Brooksville, Bay Springs, Canton, and Sebastopol
  • Tyson Foods – Grow Out – Forest, Carthage, Magee
  • Sanderson Farms Inc. –  Collins, Hazlehurst, Laurel, Summit, McComb, Hazlehurst
  • Luvel Dairy Products, Inc. – Kosciusko
  • Land O’ Lakes Purina Feed –  Macon

View a map of food and kindred products manufacturers in Mississippi (PDF).

Transportation

US Highways and Interstates

US Highway 72 (east-west) and US Highway 45 (north-south) are four-lane highways running through the TAP Alliance region. Future Interstate 22 is accessible from Tupelo (50 miles) and connects I-240 and I-40 with I-65 and I-20. Interstates 55, 22, and 40 are accessible from Memphis, approximately 110 miles from the TAP region. Several state highways serve the TAP Alliance region.

View map of highways in North Mississippi (365 KB, PDF)

Ports

Water transportation is available via the Tennessee River and Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (TTW). Yellow Creek Port on the TTW is near Iuka in Tishomingo County. This port is equipped with 200-ton capacity cranes, warehouse, as well as truck and rail facilities. The port has more than 1,100 acres of industrial sites available and is a designated Foreign Trade Subzone and a Federal HUBzone.

The Port of Itawamba also serves the TTW. Located 50 miles from the edge of the TAP Alliance, it has truck and rail facilities, warehouses, conveyor, 60-ton crane, and also provides cargo handling and logistical support.

View a map of ports along the Tenn-Tom Waterway in the TAP Alliance (1.2 MB, PDF)

Railroads

Rail lines serving the TAP Alliance region include Norfolk-Southern Railroad main line and 4 short lines: Kansas City Southern, Yellow Creek Port, Tishomingo Railroad, and Redmont.

View a map of rail lines serving the TAP Alliance region (1.8 MB, PDF).

Water Capacity

The TAP Alliance region is in the process of improving its water capacity with a $50 million upgrade by Corinth Gas & Water Department that will provide water not only to Corinth but also to rural water authorities in central Tishomingo County and all of Alcorn County in the future, if needed. In addition, a plan is underway to study feasibility to serve northern Prentiss County water authorities in the future as well.

Labor Availability and Wages

Total Employees by Occupation for Alcorn, Prentiss, and Tishomingo Counties.

OccupationCurrent JobsMedian Hourly Earning in TAP RegionMedian Hourly Earning in Mississippi
Bakers30$10$10
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks32$14$14
Butchers and meat cutters<10$12$12
Cashiers, except gaming14$8$8
Cleaners of vehicles and equipment88$10$10
Cleaning, washing, and metal pickling equipment operators and tenders74$11$11
Conveyor operators and tenders19$11$11
Cooling and freezing equipment operators and tenders156$10$10
Cutting and slicing machine setters, operators, and tenders61$11$11
Driver/sales workers54$12$12
Food and tobacco roasting, baking, and drying machine operators and tenders12$14$14
Food batchmakers67$11$11
Food cooking machine operators and tenders18$9$9
General and operations managers30$36$36
Graders and sorters, agricultural products12$10$10
Helpers - production workers191$11$11
Industrial machinery mechanics55$20$20
Industrial production managers34$33$33
Industrial truck and tractor operators74$13$13
Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers137$14$14
Janitors and cleaners74$9$9
Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand134$10$10
Machine feeders and offbearers81$12$12
Maintenance and repair workers, general121$13$13
Maintenance workers, machinery48$16$16
Managers of mechanics, installers, and repairers23$24$24
Managers, all others<10$45$45
Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers1,656$10$10
Mixing and blending machine setters, operators, and tenders65$12$12
Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders111$10$10
Packers and packagers, hand272$9$9
Retail salespersons22$9$9
Separating, filtering, clarifying, precipitating, and still machine setters, operators, and tenders27$12$12
Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks85$12$12
Slaughterers and meat packers840$9$9
Stock clerks and order fillers17$9$9
Team assemblers33$13$13
Truck drivers, heavy and tractor-trailer49$16$16
Truck drivers, light and delivery services18$12$12
Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping23$10$10
Source: State Workforce Investment Board (Mississippi), http://swib.ms.gov

Workforce Training

Division of Workforce Training and Economic Development at Northeast Mississippi Community College

Offers customized job training to new and existing business and industry. Two training facilities are in the TAP Alliance: Corinth and Booneville. Mobile training units may be available upon request to businesses in the TAP region.

East Mississippi Community College, Center for Manufacturing Technology Excellence

Offers training relevant to Mississippi industries to create technically proficient workers. 112 miles from the TAP region.

Workforce Services
Offers customized training to industry and core courses to individuals. Classes include basic manufacturing skills.

University of Mississippi, Center for Manufacturing Excellence

Provides manufacturing education through the mechanical engineering program, professional development courses, and is involved with industry-led research. 92 miles form the TAP region.

Agriculture Production

Tax Incentives for National or Regional Headquarters

Companies establishing a regional or national headquarters in Mississippi can receive tax credits to reduce state income tax liability and/or a sales and use tax exemption.

National or Regional Headquarters Tax Credit

The incentive includes

  • Between $500-$2,000 per position in credits
  • Up to 5-year period

Qualifications

  • Must meet headquarters classification
  • Minimum creation of 35 qualified jobs within one year period

Learn more about this tax credit.

National or Regional Headquarters Sales Tax Credit

This incentive applies to building materials and machinery/equipment and includes

  • Exemption from beginning of project until 3 months after start-up
  • Contractor’s tax is not exempt

Qualifications

  • Minimum creation of 35 new headquarters jobs

Learn more about this tax credit.

Financial Incentives Specific to Manufacturers

Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit

This tax credit includes

  • 5% of eligible project investment
  • Can not exceed $1,000,000

Requirements include

  • Operated in Mississippi for at least two years
  • Invested at least $1,000,000 in additional buildings and/or equipment
    Learn more about this manufacturing tax credit

Mississippi offers a variety of tax incentives, grants and loans for business and industry. View a listing of more incentives by visiting the incentives page.

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