That might sound like a trick question, of course factory jobs are critical to the foundation of a strong middle class. But they are even more critical in rural America. The growth of industrial farming and the resulting decline of the family farm have made the availability of good paying industrial jobs much more critical.
As a small business owner and CEO I know firsthand what these jobs mean to my community. We at Elite are working hard to create new products and enter into new markets to provide an opportunity for growth in our local market.
Here in Northeast Mississippi we have some government initiatives that are aimed at helping create the workforce needed to supply the expected resurgence in U.S. manufacturing that is expected to happen with the increasing cost of Chinese products.
Historically we have been dependent on the furniture industry for manufacturing jobs but the addition of a new Toyota manufacturing plant in nearby Blue Springs, MS has created demand for a higher skilled and better-trained workforce.
The Advanced Manufacturing and Industrial Maintenance training program at nearby Northwest Mississippi Community College is aimed at helping to fill that void.
That's good news for Elite since our business model has evolved to move from custom mixing rubber compounds to developing application based rubber solutions for complex applications and manufacturing products to provide turnkey solutions to our customers. The availability of a trained workforce is critical.
In addition we are working with the Mississippi Polymer Institute at the University of Southern Mississippi on innovative new products for gas and oil exploration.
We’re excited about the challenges and opportunities that “re-shoring” will bring to our community and are excited about the future.
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