By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal
SHANNON – General Atomics on Wednesday announced a $12 million expansion that will add 25 new jobs in Lee County.
It’s the seventh expansion for the advanced manufacturing company, which has a facility in the Tupelo Lee Industrial Park South complex.
Gov. Phil Bryant and other state and local leaders gathered with employees to celebrate the news. The event was billed as a “ground breaking,” but part of the foundation already was laid.
Neal Blue, president and CEO of General Atomics, joked that the progress was indicative of the can-do attitude found in Mississippi.
Bryant added that he hears about the superb quality of Mississippi workers from just about every executive who locates a large business in Mississippi.
“We come to work on time,” he said. “We’ll work extra if you tell us you need us.”
The expansion will create 25 new jobs over three years. The WIN Job Center will handle the application process for the plant, officials said.
The plant in Shannon currently has 65 employees.
The General Atomics facility assembles and tests advanced linear motors for electromagnetic aircraft launching systems. The EMALS will be used in the U.S. Navy’s next generation of aircraft carriers.
In the past two years, Blue said, the facility has delivered 82 miles of electrical cable and 900 tons of manufactured product.
“During my time here, our growth has been steady and our focus has been spot-on,” said Scott Forney, vice president of General Atomics’ electromagnetic systems group.
The company also is working on technology that will be able to cost-effectively intercept ballistic and cruise missiles.
The Mississippi Development Authority provided the company with assistance through the Momentum Mississippi incentives program to help facilitate the building improvements.