Pearl River County Industrial Park
Published 8:00 am Wednesday, June 28, 2023
Last Thursday marked a significant milestone for the economic development of Pearl River County as the groundbreaking ceremony for the Pearl River County Industrial Park took place. This ambitious project, initiated in April 2021 by Lindsay Ward, the county’s Director of Economic Development, aims to attract industries to the area and propel economic growth.
Ward’s first step was to approach the Board of Supervisors, stressing the need for a designated area to accommodate new industries. Recognizing the importance of reducing time to market, the focus was on streamlining the process for potential companies, enabling them to move in swiftly and commence production. The search for suitable locations to establish the industrial park began in earnest.
Securing funding was an essential aspect of the project, a process that spanned over two years. Ward and her team secured nearly $7M through three avenues for the venture. The Gulf Coast Restoration Fund Grant contributed $2 million in 2022 and $2.4 million in 2023. Additionally, a grant of $2.5 million from the Mississippi Development Authority was obtained for site development and infrastructure. At the groundbreaking ceremony, Ward acknowledged the crucial role played by various representatives and boards, including the Board of Supervisors, the Mississippi Development Authority, and the Economic Development Districts. She specifically mentioned the contributions of the Board of Supervisors President Sand Kane Smith, Representative Jansen Owen, Senator Angela Hill, District Supervisor Hudson Holliday, and Governor Tate Reeves, emphasizing that their advocacy was instrumental in securing the funding.
Governor Reeves said, “We are here today because of your leadership in Pearl River County, recognizing the importance of economic growth.”
The funds allocated to the park will be utilized for various purposes, including land acquisition, site grading, marketing, signage, infrastructure, and utilities. The timeline from the groundbreaking to the arrival of industries is estimated to be around two years. Within two months, contracts for the site will be finalized, paving the way for a 60-day bidding process. Subsequently, site grading and construction will commence.
The choice of location for the industrial park was deliberate, considering multiple factors. The availability of a robust workforce within a 60-minute radius, comprising an estimated 700,000 to 1 million individuals, serves as a compelling selling point for potential companies.
Senator Hill said,” We want every Mississippian thats able to have a job and go to work whether they want to or not.”
The county can emphasize the time-to-market value proposition to attract industries. Furthermore, the park’s strategic proximity to Pearl River Community College (PRCC) opens up possibilities for collaboration. PRCC President Adam Breerwood, who also serves on the Board of Pearl River County Economic Development District, envisions leveraging the college to create hands-on opportunities for students in partnership with the businesses and industries planning to set up operations in the park.
Representative Owen said, “ The impact this will have on our families and community will be truly historic.
Ward also aims to benefit the residents of Pearl River County through this endeavor. With an average drive time of approximately 35 minutes for residents, she hopes job opportunities closer to home will encourage individuals to choose local employment options.
“This will not only enhance the quality of life but also reduce commuting time for the county’s residents,” Ward said.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the Pearl River County Industrial Park represents a significant leap forward in the region’s economic growth. As the project progresses, anticipation grows for the opportunities and prosperity it will bring to the business community and the residents of Pearl River County.