The landscape of Grenada County will soon change following Tuesday’s announcement that Milwaukee Tool will expand its footprint in Mississippi with the construction of an accessories manufacturing facility in the I-55 Business and Technology Park creating hundreds of new jobs.
Once constructed, the state-of-the-art building will be the equivalent size of more than 10 football fields at a mammoth 500,000 square feet with 14 acres under roof. Initially, the Milwaukee Tool site will provide 800 new jobs for the area, however, the manufacturer has committed to creating 400 more jobs to be added to any of its existing Mississippi locations in Greenwood, Jackson, Olive Branch or at the new Grenada location.
“When an industry leader such as Milwaukee Tool chooses to grow its footprint in Mississippi by building a new manufacturing facility – in addition to its existing facilities – it sends a strong message to the world that we take business seriously and work hard to ensure companies’ long-term success in our state,” Gov. Tate Reeves said. “This newest investment by Milwaukee Tool in Grenada County will benefit the region and its 800 new employees well into the future, just as Milwaukee Tool once again will benefit from having the best workforce in the nation producing the high-quality tools and accessories for which the company is known around the world.”
Milwaukee Tool last expanded in Mississippi in February 2020, adding a new distribution center in Olive Branch. The company’s expansion in Grenada represents a $60 million corporate investment in advanced technology and manufacturing equipment to support the operation. Available jobs will include machine operators, technicians, warehousing/inventory, shipping/receiving, engineering and management roles.
“Our people and our culture have clearly made the difference in our growth and success,” Milwaukee Tool Group President Steve Richman said. “As we seek out new opportunities to attract, retain and recruit the best talent in the country, the State of Mississippi has continued to be a valued partner. We look forward to bringing more jobs to this state.”
Milwaukee Tool, headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., is a leading manufacturer of heavy-duty power tools, hand tools, storage and accessories for professional construction trades worldwide. In recent years, the company has invested significantly in its Greenwood, Jackson and Olive Branch manufacturing, distribution and operations facilities, creating hundreds of jobs for the regions’ workers.
Matthew Harrison, CEO of the Greater Grenada Partnership and president of the Grenada Chamber of Commerce, said that a project of this magnitude did not materialize overnight, having taken countless hours for more than a year to come to fruition.
“Long-term economic advancement is the core mission of the Greater Grenada Partnership,” he said. “As a world-renowned brand, the Milwaukee Tool company is set to bring quality careers and significant capital investment to Grenada County. Our office is proud to bring a project of this caliber to the citizens of Grenada County that will measurably move the economic needle in our community, region and state. No project of this size is ever done in a vacuum. For the last 16 months, we have worked tirelessly with all of our partners to make this project a reality. I personally want to thank the Grenada County Board of Supervisors, Gov. Reeves, Rep. Kevin Horan, Sen. Lydia Chassaniol and MDA for remaining dedicated to seeing Grenada County blossom. The great news, we are just getting started. ”
Greater Grenada Foundation for Economic Development chairman Keith Mitchell added that he is confident that Milwaukee Tool’s expansion will be the catalyst for additional growth in the county for years to follow.
“It really sets the table for future growth as well,” he said. “Having the capacity and ability to make Milwaukee products right here is a huge feather in the county’s cap. If you look at the landscape of manufacturing in Grenada, this new addition to our community is a testament to our ability to provide the needs of world-class manufacturers. News like this will continue to place us as a top location for industrial growth in the Delta.”
Mississippi Development Authority Executive Director John Rounsaville said Milwaukee’s latest announcement is a game changer not only for Grenada, but for the entire state.
“The partnership between Milwaukee Tool and Mississippi continues to strengthen through this new manufacturing location in Grenada County,” he said. “The region’s talented workforce and robust transportation network make Grenada an ideal location for this new facility, and the commitment of 400 additional new Milwaukee Tool jobs within the company’s existing locations reflects the great business climate Mississippi provides. MDA thanks the teams at the Greater Grenada Partnership, Grenada County, Delta Strong, Tallahatchie Valley Electric Power Association and the Tennessee Valley Authority for their hard work in bringing these new operations and jobs to our great state.”
According to MDA, the company has grown its employee headcount in the state from 526 in 2010 to more than 2,343 in 2020, by delivering on its 2017 commitment to create 660 jobs over four years at its Mississippi locations.
“TVA and Tallahatchie Valley Electric Power Association congratulate Milwaukee Tool on its decision to expand operations and create hundreds of jobs in Grenada, Miss.,” TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley said. “Helping to create job opportunities and investment in the Valley is fundamental to TVA’s mission of service. We are proud to partner with Grenada County, Mississippi Development Authority and Greater Grenada Partnership to help further that mission and support Milwaukee Tool’s business success in the region.”
Harrison added that MDA is providing assistance for facility construction. Grenada County and TVA are also assisting with the project.
“We are excited to welcome Milwaukee Tool to Grenada County,” Michael Lott, president of the Grenada County Board of Supervisors, said. “I am proud that our community continues to be a destination for manufacturing companies seeking to expand and create jobs. The Grenada County Board of Supervisors has worked diligently to create a pro-business community. With an announcement such as this, we are seeing our investments bring about a great return.”
According to Wade Litton, chairman of the Delta Council Development Department, the expansion by Milwaukee Tool is a prime example “affirming” that the business case in Mississippi is strong and ultimately they chose a location that provides the best return on their investment.
“Milwaukee Tool’s commitment and expanding footprint in this region and state are tremendous,” he said. “We will work hard with them and everyone to ensure that we deliver results. Delta Strong is proud to have played a small role in this effort and commend the Grenada community and the Governor, along with his team at MDA for their persistence in landing this project.”
Grenada School District Superintendent Dr. David Daigneault added that his staff is ready to assist in preparing potential employees for the workforce.
“The Grenada School District is excited to provide the educational needs for our new industry in Grenada,” he said. “The support offered by our district, including the Career and Technical Center, will be unparalleled by others. We are committed and enthusiastic about offering our industry partners the necessary access and instruction for our students who will be the future employees of this industry in Grenada.”
Dr. Jim Haffey, president of Holmes Community College, agreed with Dr. Daigneault.
“Holmes Community College is thrilled that a company with such a stellar reputation has chosen the Grenada county area to locate,” Haffey concluded. “Milwaukee Tool will provide outstanding opportunities for residents and potential students for most of HCC’s nine-county district. The College has a long-standing history of providing high-quality training for Milwaukee Tool, and our career and technical students will have the ability to intern, collaborate, and hire on with one of the premier manufacturers in the country. We are pleased to partner with the company, county and others to bring this opportunity to our citizens.”
Milwaukee Tool expects to complete construction of the Grenada facility in late 2022, and plans to fill the new jobs within eight years.