Cooper Tire Expansion Set to Begin in Tupelo, Miss.

Fri October 02, 2009 - Southeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) Construction is expected to begin in September on a $6 million expansion of Cooper Tire and Rubber’s plant in Tupelo.

RFW Construction, based out of Dyersburg, Tenn., will build the 32,000-sq.-ft. addition, which was which originally was estimated to cost about $5.75 million.

The project calls for a new mixing building that will be added to the southwest corner of the sprawling 900,000-sq.-ft. plant.

When fully operational, the additional mixing line could add as many as 16 new jobs, depending on demand for tires, officials have said.

The expansion is the result of Cooper Tire’s decision in December to close its Albany, Ga., plant, which employed 1,300 workers.

Last fall, the Findlay, Ohio-based company announced it was conducting a capacity study to determine which of its four U.S. plants it would have to close.

After deciding that the Albany plant would close, Cooper said work would be distributed to its remaining U.S. plants in Findlay, Texarkana, Ark., and Tupelo.

Under the bid requirements, the work must be completed within 210 days, which means the expansion should be finished by April.

State and local officials were able to come up with a retention and growth incentives package valued at more than $30 million — over 10 years — to help convince Cooper to keep its 1,200-worker plant in Tupelo open.

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