Howard Industries Is Adding 200 Jobs at New Facility. What Does That Mean for Mississippi?

“We are very excited about being here in Quitman, Mississippi,” CEO Michael Howard said.

But that’s just the beginning, Howard said. If the Department of Energy implements its proposed energy plan, the company will have to expand even more to accommodate the requirements of the new regulations.

Howard Industries is ready, company officials say, but it will be a scramble since the company will have a narrow window to adapt to the new regulations. But Howard officials planned ahead and bought the Quitman building with growth in mind.

Along with the purchase of the building, Howard Industries bought several acres of adjoining land. Implementation of the new DOE requirements could see the Quitman plant growing to around 1,000 employees in the next few years.

“We were looking at many sites,” Howard said. “When we came here there were several things we liked about Quitman and Clarke County. One, it had a readymade building, which was very important to us to start production immediately.

“It had potential for expansion, where we can expand into if needed. Plus the local leadership was very accommodating in working with us and what we needed to build a plant and expand a plant here.”

Gov. Tate Reeves was among the many people who attended a ribbon-cutting for the new Quitman facility. He too expressed gratitude, for the Howards’ vision in the course of the company’s growth.

“I want to thank Michael and Cyndi and of course, Mr. Billy for believing in Mississippi,” Reeves said. “They have chosen to invest not only capital, but their lives work in growing Mississippi’s economy. They decided to invest in our people and grow jobs in our state. For that, I am exceptionally thankful.”

Cyndi Howard McCoy is president of Howard Industries.

For now, the Quitman facility has 60 employees and more will be added as it becomes fully operational, which should be in about six months, Howard said. The building has some areas already in operation, and it is housing materials to build transformers in the near future.

Reeves said Howard Industries’ expansion into Quitman would not have been possible without the help of local officials, including the city’s mayor and aldermen and Clarke County supervisors.

“I’m going to tell y’all,” Reeves said. “Economic development is a team sport. The only way that we have successes is by working together as a team.”