A FedEx Ground facility, like the one pictured here, is expected to open in late 2022 at Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport's I-59 Supply Chain Park.
FedEx Ground announced plans in mid-January to build a new 217,000-sq.-ft. distribution facility at the I-59 Supply Chain Park adjacent to Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport in southern Mississippi.
"It's a monumental day for our region," said Tom Heanue, airport director, during a Jan. 13 news conference.
Construction on the project, already under way, is expected to cost approximately $12 million, noted Bill Ray, chairperson of the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport Authority Board.
"The point is to provide for those people that we live with every day in the Pine Belt area and try to bring better jobs to the marketplace," he said. "We hope that is what is going to happen here."
The FedEx site will be the largest at the business park, officials told the Harriesburg American.
The Memphis, Tenn.-based shipping company is expected to begin operations at the business park late this year.
Mississippi's new FedEx distribution center is expected to bring a mix of full- and part-time employees to the area, the Hattiesburg news source learned, and the number of workers will be adjusted seasonally.
FedEx did not disclose an estimate of how many jobs would be available, but David Hogan, president of the Forrest County Board of Supervisors, said they anticipate around 200 new jobs at the FedEx Ground site.
Joint Effort Brought FedEx Ground to Hattiesburg
The new distribution facility, along with the continued development of the I-59 Supply Chain Park, is a result of a strategic partnership between the Jones County Board of Supervisors and Forrest County Board of Supervisors, working with the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport Authority Board.
The team also is supported by local utilities including Cooperative Energy, Dixie Electric Power Association and Spire Energy.
The Jones County Economic Development Authority and the Area Development Partnership serve as the joint project leads for economic development projects in the business park.
"Thank you to FedEx for having confidence in our region to build this new facility," Hogan said at the announcement. "This is another great example of Forrest County reaching across county lines to partner with an adjoining county for the betterment of our whole region."
His comments were echoed by Jones County Board of Supervisors President Johnny Burnett.
"The strategic partnership between Jones County and Forrest County and the Airport Authority has led to the success of the I-59 Supply Chain Park," he explained. "We are looking forward to the continued economic prosperity of the region through this partnership."
FedEx will join other businesses at the center, including Ashley Furniture, NoTrax, Flowers Bakery Distribution Center and Clearview Recovery Center.
The addition of the worldwide shipping service is welcome, Hogan told the American, because it will help attract even more businesses to the park and better position the area for future growth.
In his remarks at the news conference, Ray noted that the I-59 Supply Chain Park "is an excellent location for companies looking to extend their footprint in the Gulf South," while adding, "There have been significant site development efforts over the years to prepare the property for new projects. FedEx Ground choosing to locate here will only continue to spur economic activity in the park."
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