COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Governor Tate Reeves and other local leaders gathered to toss the ceremonial shovels of dirt at the site of the new Altex Tube manufacturing plant Thursday morning.
Between this move, Milwaukee Tool coming to Grenada and Columbia Industries on the way to Starkville, more and more companies are moving to Mississippi, investing millions of dollars in their spot in the expanding manufacturing market.
“Mississippi’s economy is on fire and the reason it’s on fire is because of what we’re seeing back here behind me,” Governor Reeves said, gesturing to the construction crew. “And that is investment. Capital investment in our state.”
The building team at the Steel Dynamics campus has been working for close to a month on the new plant, which will manufacture black and pre-galvanized steel tubing and create at least 58 new high-paying jobs.
“Manufacturing, agricultural equipment, automotive (and) solar will be our main target audience,” says Altex Tube President and CEO Zach Smith.
Smith, who returns to the Golden Triangle after playing football for Mississippi State from 2007 to 2010, says the opportunity to work with Steel Dynamics Industries and have access to the Mississippi workforce make Columbus the perfect location.
“The more tons (of steel tubing) that Altex puts out the door, the more tons (of steel) that SDI sends us,” he says. “So everybody will be pulling on this campus for Altex and we’re excited to be here.”
Altex Tube is investing close to $110 million in the plant, which is set to become the new headquarters for the steel tubing manufacturer.
“This entire project was a team effort between the Golden Triangle Development LINK, the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors and (Mississippi Development Authority) and the Governor’s Office,” says Golden Triangle Development LINK Chief Operating Officer Meryl Fisackerly.
Fisackerly says the economic impact of the plant goes beyond just the 58 new jobs.
“The product that they make and who all they provide their product to, it’ll touch more than just this region,” she says. “It’ll be nationwide.”
Altex says it expects phase one of the plant to be up and running in mid-2023 and they hope to start construction on phase two around the same time.