Mississippians are getting their first look at one of the state’s largest economic development projects. The Continental Tire plant in Hinds County promises to add nearly 2,500 jobs over the next ten years.
It was standing room only in the Clinton High School auditorium last night, as hundreds gathered for an update on the opening of the new $1.5 billion Continental plant.
“We’re going to start clearing the ground in about September time-frame, so you’ll see more activity on the site at that point,” says Continental Vice President of Communications Kathyrn Blackwell. “But in terms of hiring, it’s really not until October of 2018.”
Many in attendance were concerned about the company’s commitment to hiring minority and women-owned local contractors.
“We think there needs to be some willful interest and attention paid to that issue,” says Democratic Senator John Horhn of Jackson. “Having said that I think they are open to sitting down and discussing it. So we look forward to that.
But some expressed disappointment that they will have to wait more than two years for the chance to apply for a position at the plant.
Kathy Brown of Bolton says the wait won’t deter her from applying.
“Well, I’m going to go home and pray for a job, that they hire me, number one. And if there is more that I need to take, I’ll look online and take some classes or something that I may need. I’m excited about it.”
Continental officials expect to have the first 500 employees working by 2020.